SUN VALLEY, Idaho – Automotive – Starting this summer, owners of most 2015 Buick models can be connected by the high-speed data of OnStar 4G LTE. A built-in Wi-Fi hotspot will keep passengers connected on the go, allowing them to browse the Internet, download movies, play games or send email on up to seven devices at once.
Buick announced at the DENT Conference that the 2015 LaCrosse, Regal, Verano and Encore would come standard with OnStar 4G LTE hardware, with data packages available for an additional charge. The 4G LTE technology in these four models is faster than the 3G connectivity offered by some competitors. Available in the U.S. and Canada, OnStar 4G LTE hardware will be in every Buick model by the 2016 model year.
“Today’s Buick lineup is full of technologies that help make our owners safer and more secure than they would be without them,” said Tony DiSalle, vice president of Buick Marketing. “With the introduction of high-speed OnStar 4G LTE, Buick owners will be better connected as well.”
The Wi-Fi hotspot will allow passengers to connect their personal devices, such as compatible smartphones, laptops and tablets, to high-speed wireless Internet. Business travelers can check and respond to emails from a rest area, families can play games between devices, and drivers can stream their favorite Internet radio apps via a new Buick AppShop.
Every 2015 model offered with OnStar 4G LTE will also come with Buick AppShop, a feature of IntelliLink. Through Buick AppShop, owners can use their 4G LTE connection to download apps and stream data – such as Internet radio playlists – through the in-vehicle interface.
Buick AppShop will continue to grow, and all apps can be updated to newer versions as they become available. While final content has not yet been determined, initial apps are expected to include Priceline.com, the Weather Channel, NPR, Slacker Radio, Cityseeker, Eventseeker, Glympse and Kaliki, with more coming throughout 2014 and beyond.
Later this year, a Vehicle Health app will provide in-vehicle diagnostic reports and allow owners to schedule a maintenance appointment from the car. The Vehicle Health app pulls diagnostic data from the vehicle, providing a level of vehicle integration not possible with a smartphone.
With OnStar’s 4G LTE connection, the vehicle provides a mobile hub, giving customers easier access to apps and services that require a high-speed cellular or data connection.
In collaboration with AT&T, through local providers, the data connection in the car will be fast – and flexible. Drivers can pay for data through OnStar, independently from their other mobile data accounts. Pricing and data packages for OnStar 4G LTE will be announced later this year.
Buick’s 4G LTE launch coincides with OnStar’s 10th generation hardware, an upgrade allowing voice and high-speed data services.
“We are focused on constantly improving the OnStar service so that the system continues to remain a trusted value-add for GM customers,” said Terry Inch, chief operating officer, OnStar. “4G LTE will enable the most powerful OnStar connection ever.”
OnStar Advisors currently respond to about 185,000 calls every day or more than two calls every second. OnStar is standard across the Buick lineup, with a six-month Directions and Connections plan included on every vehicle.
Buick owners also get the OnStar RemoteLink Key Fob Services, which allows owners to lock or unlock doors, activate the horn and lights, and remotely start a properly equipped vehicle using the OnStar RemoteLink smartphone app. The Key Fob Services are included for five years for Buick vehicles in the U.S. and Canada.