General Motors will remold its OnStar service as a provider of high-speed connectivity to vehicles, loaded with a portfolio of infotainment features. The revised service will commence this summer on some vehicles as a package of infotainment apps, with current safety and security features still available. OnStar will also offer a Wi-Fi hot spot, streaming radio, vehicle diagnostics, weather reports and other apps through a high-speed 4G LTE data connection as provided by AT&T.
"It will be introduced on everything from entry-level hatches to Silverados," said Tim Nixon, OnStar's chief technology officer, during a Dec. 11, 2013 presentation for journalists. Nixon said that the connected features will be fitted first on the Chevrolet Corvette, Impala, Malibu and Volt, which will get 4G LTE this summer.
Next on the list are the Equinox, Silverado, Spark and Spark EV. GM will also install 4G LTE connectivity on vehicles for Buick, GMC and Cadillac, although the carmaker has yet to confirm a launch date for those brands.
Covered nameplates will feature Wi-Fi connectivity for up to seven mobile devices, allowing passengers to download videos onto their tablets and surf the Internet as well as download apps from an online GM store without charge, although they have to pay for connectivity. Mary Chan, president of GM's global connected consumer unit, recently said that GM would offer flexible pricing plans to its customers.