#AboutTime: Next year’s cars will tell you when someone bashes your parked car [DETAILS]

new cars1

General Motors and AT&T are teaming up to bring 4G connections to most of their vehicles by next year in an announcement made on Monday.

According to GM, this will include: video streaming, Wi-Fi hot spots and more sophisticated navigational systems.

Vice president specializing in automotive technology for Gartner, Thilo Koslowski, said “It shows that GM is serious about the connected vehicle. It’s a pretty big commitment.”

“This is a big deal,” he said. “They want to actually have embedded connectivity in their connected vehicles rather than relying on a mobile phone going forward. That’s a pretty big shift in terms of where other vehicle manufacturers are today.”

The problem could be with the embedded technology, which can become outdated. Ford Motor, on the other hand, is using its Sync system, developed with Microsoft, which works through the motorist’s smart phone or other devices. When a driver gets a new phone, the newest technology is available through their new gadget.

On the other hand, 4G systems can move data 10 times faster than 3G systems. “You are future-proofing your vehicle” by going to 4G, says Phil Abram, GM’s chief infotainment officer, because there is so much untapped potential.

With the 4G system, he and Glenn Lurie, AT&T’s president of emerging enterprises and partnerships, can envision a car with the ability to contact owners on their smartphones to inform them remotely of a parking-lot accident — and then display a video recording of the collision. Or drivers could receive more early warnings about a vehicle’s mechanical trouble based on sensor readings from a car’s computers.

The 4G system will be available starting next year on most model year 2015 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac cars and trucks.

Some other car manufacturers, such as Audi and BMW, have also indicated interest in bringing 4G systems to cars. But GM, as the nation’s biggest seller of vehicles, says it will have the largest deployment of such systems by far in the U.S.


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