By technology editor Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — “Connected” cars are coming to an auto dealer near you. General Motors and AT&T are joining forces to put high-speed Internet access into most Chevy, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC models on the lot next year.
GM isn’t the first to get on board with mobile broadband, but it’s the biggest and widest deployment to date.
“Ninety percent of all cars by 2020 will be connected by Wi-Fi,” says auto expert George Polgar of GT Marketing in Philadelphia.
Polgar says the 4G LTE connection will let drivers and passengers stream audio and video and connect smartphones and tablets to the car’s Internet hotspot.
But more than that, he adds, “It’s going to be central to the safety systems, vehicle-to-vehicle communication, and collision avoidance systems.”
And, just as you might download a software update to your phone, the same could be done for a manufacturer’s updates to your car — without the wait at the dealership.
Alongside distracted driving concerns, the cost may put people off. Some current programs run $30 per month — on top of your current wireless bill.