General Motors (GM) are expanding their partnership with AT&T, bringing “5G cellular connectivity to millions of GM vehicles coming off the assembly line over the next decade”

AT&T’s relationship with GM goes back all the way to 2014, when the two companies first partnered to launch in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspots. Since then, the relationship has continued to develop, with AT&T launching connected car data plans back in 2017, even making WarnerMedia’s library of podcasts, movies and television programming available in-vehicle in 2020. 

When it comes to 5G, the pair have been working together since 2019, exploring the future of 5G-connected cars at GM’s 5G testbed in Michigan.

Now, they are taking their connected vehicle partnership one step further, with the companies announcing their intention to co-develop a high performance 5G core network, with improved coverage when it comes to roadways. 

According to the partners, this new network should have a major impact to in-vehicle connected experiences, primarily improving speed and reliability for music, video, software, and navigation applications. 

In tandem, GM will also begin producing 5G connected vehicles en mass for the first time. Starting with model year 2024, which will be produced and hit the roads in 2023, Chevrolet, Cadillac, and GMC vehicles will be capable of connecting to 5G.

"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 AT&T. "We now connect more vehicles than any other carrier and GM has played a critical role in our success. We’re honoured to work alongside GM to usher the next chapter of connected driving."

Benefits of the new 5G network will also be felt by earlier models of GM’s connected vehicles; 4G LTE-capable model year 2019 and newer vehicles will experience “faster speeds and many of the same performance benefits of future 5G-equipped vehicles”. 

In addition to in-vehicle experiences, this added improved connectivity could yet play an even greater role in the future of the automotive industry. 5G is often cited as a cornerstone of autonomous driving and the new network being developed will be paramount in this journey for GM and AT&T. For now, it will provide a “strong foundation” for GM’s semiautonomous Super Cruise technology and the Vehicle Intelligence platform.


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