General Motors and partner AT&T will give consumers options to buy data access as GM rolls out embedded 4G LTE mobile Internet in most 2015 vehicles sold in the U.S. and Canada.
The Detroit automaker will allow customers to sign up for GM’s OnStar services with data, while AT&T customers can add the vehicle as a device through AT&T data plans and people can sign up to have Wi-Fi capability in the vehicle on a weekend basis, announced Mary Chan, GM’s vice president of Global Connected Consumer.
“So we’re trying to make this as flexible as possible and as easy as possible to get the customer used to buying data connections inside of their vehicles,” she said during the Barclays Global Automotive Conference.
GM has not announced pricing for the service, but it’s expected to be available in mid 2014. Analysts see the service as a revenue boon for the Detroit automaker. IHS Automotive earlier this year has estimated 4G LTE could add $400 million gross profit to GM by mid-decade, per a recent Citi Research investment note.
GM sees many opportunities to boost revenue and profit through connected vehicles by working with third parties in areas such as accessing fuel, parking, travel or hotel information, Chan said. Connected vehicles also could boost loyalty and lower warranty costs for GM, as software and capability updates can occur automatically.