A faster Internet connection in your car opens the door to online services that were previously impossible--or if they were available, they were slow. With the 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe announced this week at NAIAS in Detroit, we now know what some of those new and improved services will be.
Promising connect speeds of 20Mbps or more in major metro areas, GM says its OnStar 4G LTE network (available through a partnership with AT&T) will help drivers tweak the apps in the car using the Cadillac CUE touchscreen. Apps will load faster, and drivers will be able to add and remove apps without the lag common on many vehicles. (Current GM vehicles use 2G data service.)
Current CUE apps include iHeartRadio (for listening to FM stations over the Internet), Priceline.com (for looking up travel deals), the Weather Channel (with forecasts and maps), Glympse (a service for sharing your location), and Slacker Radio.
The OnStar 4G LTE service will let passengers share a 4G hotspot and use up to seven devices on it. While this capability is already fairly common on luxury vehicles, GM plans to roll out hotspots in almost every 2015 vehicle, including the entry-level Chevrolet Spark.
The connectivity will do more than stream apps. Earlier this month at International CES in Las Vegas, OnStar reps demonstrated a diagnostic tool on the 2014 Corvette Stingray. The tool will alert drivers to maintenance issues and diagnostic problems, and drivers will be able to schedule a repair at a dealership from the car.
We're also looking forward to future uses, such as having cars communicate with each other over 4G. The ultimate tech upgrade for families will be to stream video directly to the rear entertainment systems.
Of course, the connectivity will cost money. GM says its OnStar 4G LTE will be free for five years--as part of the OnStar basic plan ("Safe and Sound"), which costs $19.95 per month, or less if you commit to a longer period, such as $199 per year.