The FINANCIAL — In September 2020, General Motors crossed a new milestone as the first automaker with more than 1 million subscribers to its Wi-Fi-enabled data services provided by AT&T. The company initially launched a broad rollout of 4G LTE connectivity across Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models in the U.S. and Canada starting in 2014, transforming connected car capability and adding in-vehicle Wi-Fi for customers.
In-vehicle Wi-Fi can bring new value to vehicle owners in good times and bad, powering streaming audio apps on a daily commute, enabling kids’ games and video calls on road trips, or serving as a reliable link to the outside world when Mother Nature knocks out residential power. Complimentary in-vehicle Wi-Fi data services1 for introductory plans have become a key component of OnStar Crisis Assist, serving GM customers impacted by disasters. Earlier this year, approximately 180,000 drivers in the U.S. and Canada enrolled in Crisis Assist to help navigate the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trucks and three-row SUVs are consistently the most popular for Wi-Fi usage, and with new 2021 models of the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade launching this fall, new content choices will bring more value to families using streaming services. Available now in the App Store and Google Play for all U.S. unlimited data plan subscribers, the WarnerMedia RIDE app brings a unique smartphone or tablet experience with access to video content from Bleacher Report, Cartoon Network, CNN, HBO, TBS, TNT, truTV, Warner Bros. Television as well as other WarnerMedia content.
Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles are among the first in the industry to offer WarnerMedia RIDE, which functions similar to in-flight entertainment platforms offered by some airlines. When a tablet or smartphone is connected to an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, live and on-demand entertainment options are available to passengers via the WarnerMedia RIDE app.
Next year, GM and AT&T plan to add HBO Max to a unique premium bundle of streaming content to complement the WarnerMedia RIDE and in-vehicle Wi-Fi offering. HBO Max offers more than 10,000 hours of curated premium content from HBO, Warner Bros. and other world-class storytelling brands.
“Being a leader in connected vehicles means constant innovation, listening to customers, and taking an inclusive approach by partnering with others who bring great entertainment and customer experiences into our vehicles,” said Santiago Chamorro, GM vice president of Global Connected Services. “One million data subscribers is much more than just a number. It represents countless road trips where kids aren’t asking, ‘Are we there yet,’ and people using their vehicles as classrooms and home offices just to make life a bit smoother. We’re motivated to empower even more people moving forward.”
“Connectivity is at the heart of today’s driving experience,” said Joe Mosele, vice president, AT&T Global Business Solutions. “We are incredibly excited to bring a fast and reliable Wi-Fi experience to millions of GM customers combined with some of WarnerMedia’s most iconic brands and content libraries for more entertainment on the go.”
Earlier in 2020, GM also added new Wi-Fi-enabled features, including the broad rollout of Amazon Alexa Built-in, allowing customers to access a whole range of Alexa skills and capabilities on the go. Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles also became the first to offer an embedded RADIO.com app. RADIO.com is the exclusive digital home for all Entercom content across 230 stations, thousands of podcasts, live and on-demand video, and premium content across local and national news, entertainment, music and sports in markets across all the U.S.