General Motors announced that 2015 Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC vehicles will be available with a 4G LTE mobile broadband connection. GM says that the data connection could be used to provide Wi-Fi Internet connectivity or video streaming in models equipped with a back seat entertainment system.

GM’s system will not need to be paired with a smartphone to operate, which makes it a little different from the systems found in upscale midsize cars like the Lincoln MKZ. “In addition to allowing consumers to bring in and connect to personal mobile devices, the vehicle will also act as its own mobile device, enabling embedded vehicle capabilities,” says Mary Chan, president, Global Connected Consumer, General Motors. “Turning this vision into a reality starts with enabling fast, reliable and responsive connectivity within the vehicle.” 

Audi already offers Internet access in a number of its vehicles and The Detroit Bureau expects more automakers to follow suit. “BMW is also adding 4G capability, as is the Chrysler Group, the latter teaming up with Sprint to enhance its Uconnect infotainment system on vehicles such as the Ram 1500 pickup and SRT Viper sports car.”

GM says that the service will be available in 2014 and some journalists think that a dedicated, in-car Internet connection will be an appealing option for new car shoppers. Forbes writes, “Today’s always-connected consumers already rely on high speed data connections in their vehicles, both for drivers and passengers, and the built-in connection offers distinct advantages: a more powerful antenna to improve signal quality, a constant energy source to power that connection, and an integrated design that is optimized for in-vehicle use.”

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