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General Motors to Add 5G Connectivity to its Model Lineup in Partnership With AT&T

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【Summary】General Motors announced a new partnership with AT&T that will bring 5G connectivity to millions of vehicles in the U.S. starting with 2024 model year vehicles. GM and AT&T are working together to develop a fifth-generation cellular network architecture that will support a network of connected vehicles with faster data speeds to support functions such as autonomous driving.

FutureCar Staff    Aug 19, 2021 9:15 AM PT
General Motors to Add 5G Connectivity to its Model Lineup in Partnership With AT&T
GM vehicles with 5G connectivity will offer new entertainment options and connected services.

General Motors announced a new partnership with AT&T that will bring 5G connectivity to millions of vehicles in the U.S. starting with 2024 model year vehicles.

GM and AT&T are working together to develop a fifth-generation cellular network architecture that will support a network of connected vehicles with faster data speeds to support functions such as autonomous driving. 

Network enhancements will include improved roadway-centric coverage, faster music and video downloads, faster and more secure over-the-air software updates, faster navigation, mapping, and voice services. 

"By connecting millions of GM vehicles to our nationwide 5G network, we will improve the customer experience for existing services while laying the groundwork for the next wave of innovation including autonomous driving," said Gregory Wieboldt, senior vice president, Global Business, Industry Solutions, AT&T. "We're honored to work alongside GM to usher the next chapter of connected driving."

GM's fifth-generation network will also provide a strong foundation as the company advances its technology, such as its Super Cruise hand-free driving feature and its Vehicle Intelligence Platform. In addition, GM will provide access for its strategic partners to connect over AT&T's 5G network to deliver future mobility services, such as e-commerce, smart city and vehicle-to-electric grid.

5G connectivity will first be available in select model year 2024 vehicles. 

For those 2019 and newer GM vehicles already on the road equipped with 4G LTE connectivity, the 5G architecture will allow for faster connectivity speeds and many of the same performance benefits of future 5G-equipped vehicles, according to GM. 

GM said that current Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac owners in the U.S. with 4G LTE-capable vehicles will be able to easily migrate to the new 5G network once it's available.

The partnership is the result of a two year collaboration between the two companies. GM and AT&T have been testing the connected vehicles for the past two years at the automaker's 5G proving grounds in Milford, Michigan.

"Together with AT&T, we've brought unprecedented experiences to the daily commute, family road trips and everything in between," said Santiago Chamorro, GM vice president of Global Connected Services. "As an in-vehicle connectivity leader, this rollout demonstrates our commitment to growth through software-enabled services and reimagining every customer touchpoint by enabling faster connectivity speeds to power in-vehicle voice-enabled services, navigation and apps that our customers have grown to love."

AT&T's 5G network is the largest in the U.S. Approximately 250 million people in the U.S. live in areas with access to 5G coverage.

The partnership with GM also helps AT&T to further expand into the automotive space. AT&T invested more than $110 billion in its wireless and wireline networks, including capital investments and acquisitions of wireless spectrum and operations to prepare for the nationwide rollout of 5G.

GM was one of the first automakers to offer connectivity features in its vehicles when its launched OnStar in 1997. Drivers with OnStar can summon help on demand, including if they run out of gas or experience a flat tire. The automaker offers OnStar and Connected Services to more than 16 million customers in the U.S. and Canada. 

To support GM's next-generation connected vehicle solutions, the automaker and AT&T will use Microsoft's secure cloud services.

AT&T and GM have been working together since launching in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspots in 2014, with access to WarnerMedia's library of streaming premium content in 2020 and enabling best-in-class connectivity features in millions of GM vehicles currently on the road.

The expanded entertainment services are provided via the WarnerMedia RIDE app, which is available for subscribers of AT&T's unlimited in-car Wi-Fi plan.  

GM has offered 4G LTE technology in select vehicles since 2014, but the 5G speeds provided by AT&T will open up a whole new ecosystem of connected functions and services.

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