GM is launching 4G cars in 2014

Soon GM's 4G vehicles will allow passengers to stream Netflix in the back seat. But that won't be the only benefit of the broadband-connected cars.

GM is about to take a major step toward more connected vehicles.

The company announced this week that most of its 2015 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac models will come with embedded 4G LTE mobile broadband. The service will be made available in the United States and Canada, through AT&T, in 2014.

For drivers this means a car that can serve as a WiFi hotspot and enhance in-vehicle communication and entertainment options (like streaming NetFlix in the back seat).

But the broadband services will also be key to improving connected car technology that promises to improve safety and convenience for drivers. Connected cars will be able to send data that the car collects from its surrounding environment to the cloud, and synthesized data from numerous cars on the road will give drivers real-time information about things like road conditions or traffic congestion.

"Through this built-in 4G LTE connection we have the opportunity to reinvent the mobile experience inside a vehicle,” said Mary Chan, a GM executive, in a press release.

The addition of 4G in cars will also provide an opportunity for developers. Last month, GM released a set of vehicle APIs to allow developers to build applications for GM's 4G cars.

“Our commitment to 4G LTE strengthens our ability to collaboratively innovate with developer partners," said Chan. "Developers will be able to take full advantage of 4G LTE speeds as they design vehicle-specific apps, and they can pursue development knowing that they’ll have a broad base of potential customers as connectivity is built-in across GM brands and regions.”

Photo: Flickr/Andrea_44

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