If broadcast radio has one edge that keeps it going, it's the car and the ease with which a listener can quickly tune into a station.  Listening to Internet radio requires plugging the smart phone in to the sound system, and tuning to what you want is not as easy as hitting a switch on the broadcast radio in the dash...but, get ready Clear Channel and friends...competition for the dash is coming fast...and it means video in the back seat as well as voice commands for interactivity.

In Barcelona today, General Motors announced a new partnership with AT&T to embed 4G LTE in most, if not all of its models by mid 2014.  It is the largest deployment in the automotive industry to date. They will begin with 2015 models in the U.S. and Canada and will include

Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models available in 2014 in the United States and Canada delivered through AT&T.  The built in system will create a hot spot allowing for simultaneous voice and data delivery enabling what GM calls "a wide range of in-vehicle communications and entertainment capabilities."  Their press release goes on to explain "Expected benefits for GM customers could include in-vehicle Wi-Fi hot spots, new infotainment options like streaming video entertainment in the back seat, real-time updates and faster application downloads."  This means that streaming audio will be as common if not more readily available than broadcast radio. 

The built-in 4G LTE structure is specifically designed for in-vehicle use as it is integrated into the vehicle’s electrical system and includes an external antenna to maximize coverage and connectivity. Customers will not be required to have a smartphone to use connected services. 

“In addition to allowing consumers to bring in and connect to personal mobile devices, the vehicle will also act as its own mobile device, enabling embedded vehicle capabilities,” said Mary Chan, president, Global Connected Consumer, General Motors.  “Turning this vision into a reality starts with enabling fast, reliable and responsive connectivity within the vehicle.  Through this built-in 4G LTE connection we have the opportunity to reinvent the mobile experience inside a vehicle.” 

Over time, applications of widespread in-vehicle 4G LTE connectivity will enable vehicles to interact directly with their environment to enhance safety, efficiency and convenience for drivers and passengers. 4G LTE will make services such as real-time traffic and navigation updates possible, pulling information from the cloud.

“While our 4G LTE network will provide fast, reliable mobile broadband for GM’s connected vehicles, we’re also looking forward to working directly with GM researchers and engineers as well as the developer community to invent new in-vehicle applications that will take full advantage of our powerful network,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility.

Complete press release here....http://tinyurl.com/bfohjqb

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