The first plan offers 5GB over a period of six months for $99. The second plan provides 30GB over 30-months for $499, which works out to over $16 per gigabyte. With both plans, customers can choose to receive email alerts when they’re nearing their data limit.
It replaces a slower T-Mobile 3G service. Under the previous (and still current, for some of the lineup) Audi Connect service, where owners get T-Mobile 3G service for $30 a month, or $450 up front for 30 months ($15/mo.).
AT&T Drive is the cellular company’s connected car platform – a modular, global solution that allows automakers to pick and choose what services and capabilities. It will use the new Audi connect system in the 2015 A3 sedan. All Audi A3 sedans equipped with Audi connect will receive a free six-month trial period.
At CES, Audi announced its involvement in the Open Automotive Alliance, a coalition of Audi, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Google, and Nvidia that plans to offer Android-based infotainment systems in cars later this year.
Audi connect features traffic, weather, and directions. It uses Google Earth, Google Voice local search, social media integration and a secure, high-speed Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices.
Google and Apple are battling for the Connected Car. With 80 million new cars and light trucks sold each year, automobiles represent a significant new opportunity for Internet-based software and services.
- Google has the Open Automotive Alliance which includes Audi, GM, Google, Honda, Hyundai and NVIDIA.
- Apple has its squad of iOS in the Car partners. Apple supporters include BMW, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Honda, and Chrysler. Apple has said that it expects a dozen car brands to adopt the technology in 2014.
- Several car makers support both platforms.
- Notably absent from the list are Ford and Hyundai/Kia. Those automakers are currently using infotainment systems with Microsoft technology as the back end.
Starting this summer, Chevrolet’s new OnStar 4G LTE system will run on AT&T’s LTE network. The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette, Impala, Malibu, and Volt will be the first General Motors’ vehicles to come optionally equipped with OnStar 4G LTE. They will be followed by the Equinox, Silverado, Silverado HD, Spark and Spark EV.
General Motors is curating their AppShop — developers can’t independently push new apps without GM’s approval like they would in Google Play.
Five years ago infotainment ranked 27th on a list of features most cars shopper wanted. Now it’s in the top five.
According to research firm Analysys Mason, 11.5 million connected cars will ship this year, growing to around 170 million in 2023. General Motors’ OnStar service currently has 6 million customers. Worldwide sales of HUD-equipped cars will increase from 1.2 million units in 2012 to 9.1 million in 2020.
Related DailyWireless stories on transit connectivity include; Google and Apple Battle for Connected Car, Vehicle to Vehicle Communications: Moving Forward?, Inside Google’s Driverless Car, Driverless Cars Rolling Out in UK, Autonet Does Control and Diagnostic Apps, Verizon Forms Connected Car Venture, Automotive Telematics Goes 4G, Ford Lowers SYNC Costs, Google’s Driverless Car Explained, World Congress on Talking Cars, Connected Car Conference, Google + General Motors?, Ford Mobilizes Smartphone Apps, Hands-free Vehicular Calling, Tracking Tools, In-Vehicle Infotainment: Death Race, Mercedes myCOMAND, BMW iDrive Gets Makeover, Handheld Intelligent Transportation, Chrysler Offers Internet Access, Ford Sync.