OnStar Working With Verizon To Bring 4G LTE To Your Car

Last year, OnStar used its platform at the Consumer Electronics Show to announce that it was finally going to make its service available for installation in vehicles that were not made by General Motors. This year, the company showed it wants to branch out from its established position in the crash-response/locked-out-of-my-car industry by announcing a partnership with Verizon Wireless that could be bringing all sorts of other content to your car via 4G LTE.

The idea is to give users the wireless speed to stream content — songs, movies, Skype, etc. — either from a home computer or from a third-party service. Additionally, OnStar hopes this will allow users to connect all the passengers in the vehicle, so you can stream content to the kids in the backseat instead of having to bring DVDs or download movies.

But while that’s all great, no one has an idea — or at least they’re not yet saying — if this will cost anything extra. I spoke to a senior OnStar executive at CES who says the company is leaving open the possibility that there could be several pricing options when the product is ultimately launched.

Verizon and OnStar will each have a rigged-up Chevy Volt at their booth to demonstrate what they’re working on. I will get behind the wheel and honk at slow pedestrians, if they will let me.

In addition to the Verizon partnership, OnStar announced that it’s going to be throwing open its API to developers later this year so that third-party app makers can come up with new ways to turn an OnStar-enabled car into an iPad on wheels.

It remains to be seen whether making available the user-behavior info necessary to develop those apps will bring up the privacy issues that cause OnStar to scrap its plans to track users’ vehicle even after they’ve turned the service off. Though a rep for the company said that developers would not have direct access to personal information of its users.


Edit Your Comment

  1. ScarletAnn says:

    I like the basic OnStar service for lockout, crash detection, anti theft etc., but unless they can come up with a pricing scheme that is reasonable for these extra services this is a non-starter.

    The current OnStar pricing for phone minutes is very competitive – if it were still 1995.

  2. spamtasticus says:

    Because that is what we need. More content being streamed into the 4000 lb vehicles hurling around us in the street.

  3. gman863 says:

    Does it include emergency adult diaper replacement service for when you open the bill and shit your pants from the monthly data overage charges?

  4. bikeoid says:

    What is OnStar’s role in this? Anyone can get 4G LTE on their own, why involve OnStar?

  5. Swins says:

    If it’s onstar, it will be EXPENSIVE! Right now I can bring 4G LTE with my mifi device. I can also use it in the house, in the park, it isn’t tied to my car.

    • Rachacha says:

      I was thinking the same thing, that OnStar is essentially creating a MiFi type of hotspot. The ONLY advantage that this seems to have is that if I am going on a trip, I won’t have to seach for my MiFi and charger, and then find a place to keep everything charged on a long trip, however as they will probably charge $60+ per month on top of the $50 I am already paying for my MiFi, and the money I am paying for my phone, it is a service I am not interested in.

  6. Coles_Law says:

    “Additionally, OnStar hopes this will allow users to connect all the passengers in the vehicle”

    You mean, they’re somehow sharing 20 square feet of space and are *not* connedcted?



  7. rpm773 says:

    Meh. We’ve had mobile technology for years via wifi and/or via our phones. When I see “4g”, the questions “How much will it cost” and “how much bandwidth do I get to use before I’m charged extra” immediately pop in my head.

    Wow me on the cost end, OnStar, and not with how my life would be demonstrably better with technology that I can already get elsewhere.

  8. eturowski says:

    How is this going to fit with all of the anti-wireless-device legislation our lawmakers are trying to pass? Seems like the last thing they’re going to want is an “iPad on wheels.”

  9. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    It’s good to have the ability to communicate when you need help or directions – back in the day I relied on a CB radio – but I think it’s sad that everywhere we go we are reachable. What happened to just making a road trip, turning on the radio (or not) and just driving and thinking?

    It seems like people are reaching the point they can’t sit still for more than 5 minutes without being entertained by something electronic.

  10. dwfmba says:

    Will the LTE modems help the volts summon help when they burst into flames?

  11. jp7570-1 says:

    There ios a big disconnect here – between government agencies (like the NTSB) that want to ban all mobile communications (including hands-free) for drivers, and manufacturers that want to load up cars with tech.

    I hope a simple interface standard can be developed to keep distracted drivers from becoming even more dangerous. And government agencies need to work WITH tech companies, not simply spout out regulations.

  12. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    Oh yeah, imagine all the douchebaggery and evil that’ll be done once something like this is installed. I can see insurance companies getting involved, DHS, FBI and any other org that has an interest in knowing where people go, how fast they get there, how many businesses they pass without stopping, etc.

    Liberty is dead.