GM to add AT&T’s 5G connectivity to vehicles starting in 2023

DETROIT — General Motors plans to sell vehicles with 5G cellular connectivity provided by AT&T starting in 2023, the companies announced Thursday.

The higher speed network is expected to enable greater connectivity for in-vehicle systems such as infotainment, navigation and most importantly, over-the-air software updates. The remote updates are a critical part of GM’s growth plans to Wall Street, especially for electric and autonomous vehicles.

“GM and AT&T are working together to set the benchmark for automotive connectivity with a fifth-generation cellular network architecture to meet the needs of an all-electric and autonomous future,” the companies said in a statement.

Vehicle connectivity and 5G are main focuses for the automotive industry. Led by luxury automakers, IHS Markit expects a 400% increase in 5G-enabled vehicles from 2022 to 2023. BMW is expected to be among the first automakers to offer in-vehicle 5G connectivity beginning early next year with its electric iX crossover, starting at $83,200.

GM said it expects 5G to be in millions of its vehicles in the next decade, starting with “select model year 2024” cars and trucks.

GM started installing AT&T 4G LTE connectivity in its Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles in 2014. The connectivity was in addition to its OnStar safety and navigation system, which remains in its vehicles today.

In addition to adding 5G, the companies said current 4G LTE-equipped vehicles starting with the 2019 model year will experience faster connectivity speeds and many of the same performance benefits of future 5G-equipped vehicles. Those upgrades will start as soon as next year, officials said.

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