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GM Sees a Market For $5/Day Dedicated In-Car Internet

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the click-and-drive dept.

The Internet 216

An anonymous reader writes "$5 doesn't sound like much for a day of internet service in some contexts: it's less than you might pay for it in-flight, and less than a few espresso drinks if you're lured in by a coffee shop's Wi-Fi service. But not all internet service is created equal; would you pay $5 for a month of in-car internet service if it meant a 200-meg cap, which is (only) 'enough to stream more than 6.5 hours of music?' That's where a new dedicated Internet service from GM starts (also at the WSJ, paywalled), and it's $10 for drivers who aren't also OnStar subscribers. Probably a more likely option for the occasional road trip, though, is $5 per day service (no OnStar requirement) for 250MB of data. Why wouldn't someone just use a smartphone with a data plan, or a dedicated hotspot device? GM thinks they'll be drawn to 'a powerful antenna that's stronger than that of a smartphone, along with a Wi-Fi hotspot that operates without draining a mobile device's battery. That hotspot is on any time the car is on.'"

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"GM thinks" there's your problem. (5, Insightful)

nospam007 (722110) | about 6 months ago | (#46984375)

"GM thinks they'll be drawn to 'a powerful antenna that's stronger than that of a smartphone, along with a Wi-Fi hotspot that operates without draining a mobile device's battery. That hotspot is on any time the car is on.'

My car also has a 'powerful antenna' for my cellphone and my phone has a Wifi-hotspot and it also doesn't drain the mobile's battery because by cellphone is in its socket and powered by the car battery. I pay 5 bucks a month for unlimited usage already.

We should we pay twice?

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46984487)

Most people are too stupid to figure out how to set it up properly.
Having it built in to their car means that the dealer can charge for setup and maintence visits. "Sure, I can install that patch. Shop rates are $150 an hour, one hour minimum."

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (4, Insightful)

TigerTime (626140) | about 6 months ago | (#46984831)

How about this: They provide BOTH options and we'll see which one is more popular in 2 years.

Whichever car company makes it easy for my phone to be the brains of the entertainment system, and their screen just be a dumb terminal for my phone's data will get to sell me a new car.

Re: "GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

bradgoodman (964302) | about 6 months ago | (#46985579)

Sorry - Not for a $150 a month.

Re: "GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

VernonNemitz (581327) | about 6 months ago | (#46985933)

I think I want a phone with a slight modification, that lets me jack into the car's antenna.

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46986227)

How about this: They provide BOTH options and we'll see which one is more popular in 2 years.

Whichever car company makes it easy for my phone to be the brains of the entertainment system, and their screen just be a dumb terminal for my phone's data will get to sell me a new car.

Yeah. Fuck all that advanced air bag and self-parking bullshit. Who needs safety when we can bolt our texting while driving device right into the car for maximum distraction.

Good luck. We're gonna need it with people like you on the road demanding those killer features.

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (-1, Flamebait)

Chas (5144) | about 6 months ago | (#46984891)

Well "most people" need to fucking die off. 99% of this planet has the collective intellect of a mummified snail, and the loss to society and history as a whole would be nonexistent.

Why yes. I AM feeling a bit curmudgeonly today. What of it?

Anything by "GotyerMoney" to steal a few more bucks from your pocket on their gas-guzzling pollution spewers.

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about 6 months ago | (#46985167)

But then what happens when all the phone sanitisers are gone and we get killed off by a plague spread by telephones?

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

Chas (5144) | about 6 months ago | (#46985179)

It's called "teleconference".

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46985507)

But who will take out your trash? And watch the kids while you work? And revolt against you for the evils of "gentrification" while you take your meager paycheck from another fat idiot smoking a cigar? (On second thought, your plan sounds OK.)

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46985927)

Dont worry post antibiotic will push us back to pre antibiotic human levels or about 800 million.

Which is fine with me even if I am a goner too.

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46984521)

Which antenna for your cell phone is that? (What phone / what car / whatchoo talkin' bout?)

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (4, Informative)

Albanach (527650) | about 6 months ago | (#46984905)

I'm not the OP, but I use this booster [amazon.com] in the car. I use the larger antenna and get a huge signal boost. I get 3G where I'd normally only have edge, and a signal in areas where my phone normally reports no signal at all. The booster uses a USB connector to charge, so I have a $10 two port USB charger in the car that supplies power to both the booster and my phone.

The booster only works while the phone is in the cradle, so calls need to be by speaker or bluetooth.

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46984523)

Seems the target market for this would really be limos, taxis, and other drivers for hire.

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46984957)

And you'd use the WiFi in a Taxi rather than relying on your own cellphone? By the time you got it configured your ride is over.

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 6 months ago | (#46985241)

Depends on your taxi ride and your data plan.

Heck, I've had 45 minute taxi rides going to the airport in New York. So if I could, say, download a movie for the flight using someone else's WiFi and not use my data caps, why wouldn't I?

Of course, lately, I've seen a lot of airport taxis with a WiFi/Cellular base station in the trunk. A local bus service has it in their busses as well.

On the other hand, GM is twisted--$5 a day for 250MB of data per month? That's a bit more than $150 a month. I can get a better deal from...well...just about anybody! Verizon offers 250MB of data for $20 a month. AT&T has a plan for $15. I'm sure there are cheaper ones

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

msauve (701917) | about 6 months ago | (#46985399)

Re-read the summary. It's $5 for 250 MB in a day, or $5 for 200 MB in a month. Looks like they have a range of plans, up to $150 for 10 GB in a year.

$150 MRC for hotspot that doesn't travel with you? (3, Insightful)

jk379 (734476) | about 6 months ago | (#46984605)

I just don't see the cost working out. On top of that if you have the car for 10-20 years it's going to be the same as having an old 8 track. Car NAV systems don't seem to age well, I don't see this keeping up with the times. 5G will be out before too much longer.

Re:$150 MRC for hotspot that doesn't travel with y (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 6 months ago | (#46985719)

On top of that if you have the car for 10-20 years it's going to be the same as having an old 8 track.

This is not part of Detroit's marketing plan. No one owns a car for 10 or 20 years anymore, for the most part, they simply don't last that long. Want to own a car that long? Look to Europe, and maybe buy a Volvo.

Re:$150 MRC for hotspot that doesn't travel with y (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46986105)

Look to Europe, and maybe buy a Volvo.

Or to Japan. Toyotas last forever. I know dozens of people with early-90's Corollas, Camrys, Avalons, and Siennas - all those are close to (or over) 20 years old. Toyota was putting in 6-digit odometers long before many American cars had them, and it wasn't just for show - they really did last that long.

In fact, the longest-lasting cars GM ever made were designs "borrowed" from Toyota [wikipedia.org] . There are still thousands of old Prizms on the streets. I drive one that's 19 years old and has been driven through almost every state including a trip from Maryland to Alaska and back!

Re:$150 MRC for hotspot that doesn't travel with y (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46986445)

Look to Europe, and maybe buy a Volvo.

Or to Japan. Toyotas last forever. There are still thousands of old Prizms on the streets. I drive one that's 19 years old and has been driven through almost every state including a trip from Maryland to Alaska and back!

Big whoop. I made that same trip in a Ford Maverick http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Maverick_(Americas) [wikipedia.org] , back when the Al-Can Highway was mostly gravel and aluminum cans and Circle, AK was as far North as you could go on a public road in the USA.

And then took that Ford to Maine. And Florida. And a few other distant trips trying to kill that zombie car. Except for certain outlier designs (including every car manufacturer from BMW to Honda), if you take care of your car it will provide basic transportation functions for a long time.

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (4, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 6 months ago | (#46984743)

GM got bailed out by the government because it was "too big to fail." Guess what? GM is still "too big to fail."

They can go ahead and try out any screwball idea they want. If it loses money . . . the government will pick up the tab.

It's sort of like a venture capital investment operation . . . except the taxpayers get stuck with the losses, and none of the rewards.

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46984967)

Privatize profits, socialize losses.

Capitalism and communism, finally united in harmony.

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 6 months ago | (#46986133)

Privatize profits, socialize losses.

Capitalism and communism, finally united in harmony.

Again [econlib.org] .

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about 6 months ago | (#46985025)

Oh please. Yes, this is probably going to flame out and die, but the losses won't amount to more than a rounding error to GM's bottom line. You don't have to look very hard to find examples of corporations who haven't been bailed out by Uncle Sam tossing money down the sewer.

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | about 6 months ago | (#46984827)

This is what happens when a company's first priority is to find a way to make money. This product was built with money as the first principle. If, instead, GM asked what would be best for a customer, they probably would have made a deal with Google and/or Apple to build integration into the car and phone. They wouldn't get $5 a day, but they'd sell more cars.

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (2)

Nutria (679911) | about 6 months ago | (#46985421)

This is what happens when ...

"journalists" write inflammatory headlines and sheeple don't read the article. (If I didn't know better, I'd have sworn I was at theblaze.com!)

Down in the PR release, it clearly states: For existing AT&T customers, a 4G LTE-equipped GM vehicle can be added to a Mobile Share Plan for $10 per month.

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | about 6 months ago | (#46985587)

Thanks for clearing that up for us. I stand contrite and corrected.

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 6 months ago | (#46985747)

I stand contrite and corrected.

Now I know I'm not reading theblaze.com... ;)

Re: "GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 6 months ago | (#46985007)

Additionally, OnStar needs to die. It was great in a pre smartphone era, now it's something that interferes with car use. I test drove 2013 impalla, there was no aux in on the stereo, no ad2p for the Bluetooth that, and the sales guy was like, but OnStar and xm radio are great.

Smart phones have made both of those worthless, yet you're trying to tout your high tech car. Worst than the focus I rented with ford sync (which seemed to have am interface designed by an idiot, not reconnecting to ad2p on restart, and two menu items 3 levels deep with the same name (audio settings), and a message to go to audio settings with no path to get ad2p working) which did at least work.

Unless the car is going to act as a large touchscreen for my phone, or have a custom control app so I can control my phone easier while driving (ideally steaeing wheel, and a touch data display) it's worthless. The first needs the phone manufacturers to agree on a standard, the second seems to be the Nissan approach.

I carry a nav, radio, and music library with me, and it's constantly updated, I dont want your custom solution (ford sync, OnStar), I want to use the thing that I change every two years, and have the benefits in the car too.

Re: "GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

bradgoodman (964302) | about 6 months ago | (#46985607)

I can't even hear the letters "XM" without twinning. 32Kbps audio stream for music - comparable to AM quality. Stations they seem "talk" are even lower. I but a car with a nice "premium" sound system - XM makes it sound like a gramophone.

Re: "GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 6 months ago | (#46986259)

Wow, thats insane, that has to be worse than typical fm even. At least in an area where you can get clean stations.

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

pollarda (632730) | about 6 months ago | (#46985057)

In my mind is for that price, it had better be a direct satellite connection. (In which case it would be worth it -- especially if I could get a cheaper cell connection when I'm not out in the boonies.) Sat connections aren't cheap (usually about $1.00/min for a sat phone connection.) But for a cell connection, this price is outrageous....

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

Cyberax (705495) | about 6 months ago | (#46985131)

Answer: convenience.

I actually installed a RPi-based hotspot in my car with a Verizon stick. It's really nice to be able to access Internet on my laptop and non-3G tablet without bothering to activate a hotspot on my phone.

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (3, Informative)

bobjr94 (1120555) | about 6 months ago | (#46985651)

No different than the cars that come with xm radio, after the free 3-6 months almost no one continues and pays for a subscription. Many people don't even know about the free trial when they buy their car. My wife's new Subaru supports bluetooth audio, wired ipod/Iphones, usb drives and hd radio. So do many mid-range and up aftermarket radios. You can play internet stations though bluetooth on your phone to the car for no extra charge and what ever songs are in your device's storage. They even shows the audio track tags on the display when on bluetooth or usb.

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

sahuxley (2617397) | about 6 months ago | (#46986091)

Redundant internet options are a good thing. This is a smart move by GM in the face of giant ISP mergers and poor net neutrality legislation.

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46986193)

"GM thinks they'll be drawn to 'a powerful antenna that's stronger than that of a smartphone, along with a Wi-Fi hotspot that operates without draining a mobile device's battery. That hotspot is on any time the car is on.'

My car also has a 'powerful antenna' for my cellphone and my phone has a Wifi-hotspot and it also doesn't drain the mobile's battery because by cellphone is in its socket and powered by the car battery. I pay 5 bucks a month for unlimited usage already.

We should we pay twice?

Phones used to have a large bell inside of them to let you know it was ringing.

That wasn't good enough, so we invented ring tones to sell. And people bought them in droves.

Then, apparently that wasn't good enough, so we invented ring-back tones, so people calling someone else wouldn't have to listen to a boring ring either.

The point here is don't question what people will pay for anymore. People invent really fucking stupid shit and spend hundreds of dollars on it, ironically while bitching about the price of a $3 app because its not "free".

GM is sure counting on that stupidity.

Re:"GM thinks" there's your problem. (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 6 months ago | (#46986467)

it also doesn't drain the mobile's battery because by cellphone is in its socket and powered by the car battery.

Shhhhh don't tell them about car chargers or they'll charge us for that too!

No. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46984377)

would you pay $5 for a month of in-car internet service if it meant a 200-meg cap, which is (only) 'enough to stream more than 6.5 hours of music?

No, I would not.

Re:No. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46984691)

would you pay $5 for a month of in-car internet service if it meant a 200-meg cap, which is (only) 'enough to stream more than 6.5 hours of music?

No, fuck you.

FTFY

This would be awesome... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46984385)

In 2004. In 2014, I can get a wifi hotspot for $30/mo.

RENT the devices in a car I already BOUGHT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46984427)

I often wonder why the cell phone embedded in my car only works for Toyota and not for me? Why did I pay some god damn $8000 for the tech package and can only get their network and their services? This shit has to end, not get worse.

it it works across borders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46984439)

if it works across borders (canada/us) it might be worth while (international data is pricey).

stream music--WHY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46984449)

The main use I can see for car internet is getting traffic reports or other realtime info that your GPS can't figure out with its builtin maps. Streaming music to a car is almost crazy: an in-dash mp3 player with a 32gb memory card can hold hundreds of albums, no need for streaming.

32GB is useless because of DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46984533)

Cars that have built-in storage also have built-in DRM that forbid you from dumping MP3s (legally acquired or otherwise) into your vehicle. You have to manually rip each CD you bought, into the car's storage, to prevent piracy, y'know.

Re:32GB is useless because of DRM (5, Informative)

steveg (55825) | about 6 months ago | (#46984617)

Are there still cars with built in storage?

Ford included a whopping 10GB hard disk in their fanciest tech package 5 years ago. You can't get that now. Instead you get a USB port in the center console.

I've got a 64G low profile thumb drive plugged in with most of my music collection. Standard MP3s, no DRM issues. There are *other* issues -- the system has only so many slots to hold metadata, so if I add too many songs it will freak out and re-index the USB each time I start the car. But as long as I don't exceed some limit it behaves just fine.

For my purposes anyway, no storage and USB is far superior to built-in storage.

Re: stream music--WHY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46984739)

I use my phone to stream Pandora in my car every day and I love it.

I could use my iPod if I wanted, but i prefer streaming. I have nearly unlimited stations and find new songs/bands all of the time.

My honest response to $5/day for 250MB (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46984459)

would be "GM, go fuck yourself."

Re:My honest response to $5/day for 250MB (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46984985)

You'll pay for it. Either now or with the next bailout when that bomb drops.

Still stuck in an analogue thinking pattern (4, Insightful)

faffod (905810) | about 6 months ago | (#46984465)

When everything was analogue, you needed a custom device for each service (phone, TV, fax, etc). In the digital era that way of thinking is as archaic as the dinosaur. I do not want an internet connection that might be slightly better than my current phone, only to be left in the dust in a couple of years. I want a system that allows me to add my phone's internet the car seamlessly.
Yes someone is monetizing my mobile internet; no that doesn't mean that I want everyone monetizing it over and over again.

Re:Still stuck in an analogue thinking pattern (1)

SecurityGuy (217807) | about 6 months ago | (#46984519)

Truly, this wouldn't be GM putting the buggy whip manufacturers out of business, it's GM expecting they can make everyone buy a buggy whip when they already own a car. I guess this is what we get for bailing out stupid companies rather than letting them die.

Re:Still stuck in an analogue thinking pattern (1)

Strudelkugel (594414) | about 6 months ago | (#46984789)

Given all that we know about GM, can someone explain (aside from the obvious political reasons / TBTF), why this company was bailed out? Romney was correct, it should have been allowed to go bankrupt. In addition, the taxpayer still had to eat a $10 billion loss. [forbes.com] GM management was incompetent to the core. This idea is yet another example of it for all of the reasons you list and more.

Re:Still stuck in an analogue thinking pattern (5, Interesting)

j-beda (85386) | about 6 months ago | (#46984897)

Given all that we know about GM, can someone explain (aside from the obvious political reasons / TBTF), why this company was bailed out? Romney was correct, it should have been allowed to go bankrupt. In addition, the taxpayer still had to eat a $10 billion loss. [forbes.com] GM management was incompetent to the core. This idea is yet another example of it for all of the reasons you list and more.

The question is would letting GM go bankrupt have resulted in more than 10 billion in losses in terms of lost payroll taxes and increased social assistance benefits for all of the GM workers and all of the assorted companies that also would have gone under?

Further down in the linked article is "On all TARP investments to date, including the sale of Treasury’s shares in AIG, the government has recovered a total of $432.7 billion on $421.8 billion disbursed. " so overall, it doesn't look like all the TARP funds were such a bad investment even from a straight purchase-sale calculation.

Of course, it is much harder to figure out if, long term, this was a good policy - would the economy have been better off to "kill off" the sick or better off in "healing" the sick? Have any of the "sick" been healed or are they still "sick"? Have we ensured similar things don't happen in the future?

I don't have high hopes for answers to these sorts of questions.

Re:Still stuck in an analogue thinking pattern (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46985935)

>blah blah blah LESS REGULATION blah blah blah
>blah blah blah TOO BIG TO FAIL blah blah blah
yet another fair weather republican...

Yes but... (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 6 months ago | (#46984503)

with the coffee shop I still get the espresso drinks, so it is a win win.

That OR (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 6 months ago | (#46984529)

They could work with industry to produce a external antenna protocol for bluetooth - i.e. you tether your phone to the car and utilise the car's antenna for 3G/4G. In addition the phone could act as a hotspot for in car services and other phones in the vehicle. But hey they would be too useful. Instead, pay GM $5 for a proprietary solution instead.

Re:That OR (0)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 6 months ago | (#46984665)

They could work with industry to produce a external antenna protocol for bluetooth - i.e. you tether your phone to the car and utilise the car's antenna for 3G/4G.

Instead, tether your phone to the car via WiFi and utilize the car's antenna for 3G/4G.

Instead, pay GM $5 for a proprietary solution instead.

So, GM is installing a 3G/4G modem feeding a WiFi hotspot using standard protocols that anything with a WiFi connection can talk to, and this is a "proprietary" solution?

Re:That OR (1)

gmack (197796) | about 6 months ago | (#46986533)

It is proprietary in that it will only talk to GM's (expensive) service rather than a more general purpose device where you could slot in your own sim card. $5 a day? That's well over double what I would pay my local cell phone provider for the same service.

what about roaming costs will they just auto bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46984573)

what about roaming costs will they just auto bill you the $15-20 a meg fee?
even when fringe roaming?

the add to your Mobile Share Plan part makes it seem it's your plan and you are on the hook for any roaming / over fees. I hope it's easy to trun data off.

150$ mo. hotspot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46984615)

+ 400$ mo. for the vehicle, ins.. 10% interest on every breath... this is the kharma nirvana of perfect balance WMD on credit neverending holycost MANufactured 'weather' prosperiterrorism.. does it run on solar or hydrogen?

$5 Day or Month? (3, Informative)

Adam Voss (2855793) | about 6 months ago | (#46984623)

The summary mentions both $5 a month and $5 month.

Glancing at the linked article, it sounds like you can subscribe for as little as $5 a month and get 200 MB for the month. As a non-subscription you can pay $5 for 250 MB for 1 day.

In both cases there are more expensive tiers offering more data.

Re:$5 Day or Month? (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 6 months ago | (#46985031)

There are plenty of times when I'd have liked to have rented a hotspot for $5 for the day - one day only - especially if it was a different provider than the one my phone already used.

I own a little FreedomPop (Sprint) device for emergencies now (on the $4 "rollover" plan), and my personal phone is a GPE HTC One on T-Mo, so I've got the spectrum reasonably well covered in case of emergency.

Sounds Familiar (3, Insightful)

Virtucon (127420) | about 6 months ago | (#46984627)

For over a decade the Automotive industry has been trying to tie mobile Internet access into very rigid platforms that add to the cost of the vehicle. These systems are usually obsolete by the time they make it to market and are not easily upgradable in the field. With the wealth of cell phones and other in-car add-ins (tom tom etc.) The value of these auto industry developed systems becomes less and less important. Sure, there's a "bling" factor to them but don't forget that you'll want it updated to something else about as often as you upgrade your cell phone. That means that supporting things like BlueTooth and USB/iPhone connectivity and integration are where the industry should be, not trying to build out another island of isolated electronics.

Re:Sounds Familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46986485)

I have Ford Sync in my car along with navigation. I bought the car new 18 months ago and it is already outdated. My new smartphone is already far better, easier to use, and more convenient to use than the on board system. There is already things my new phone can do that the system does not and will not ever support. Ford should have got out of the game and just built in a touch screen with an HDMI and a USB input release an API for others to integrate into the system. They can have their own basic controls for the radio, heater, climate control etc but allow others to make their own.

Cars are going in this direction but it will be slow. Goolge and Samsung for example are FAR better at creating a pleasant UI system than a bunch of developers hired by Ford. When I want directions to somewhere with my phone, I click one button and say "directions to CVS" or "directions to CVS on Hoadly Road". In about 3 seconds I am presented with directions to the nearest CVS. With my Sync system and just about every other car I've driven recently, I can't do that. I have to say directions. I am presented with a list to select a POI and those POI choices are department store, convenience store, mall, amusements, restaurants, etc. I say one of those and hope CVS is the one I picked and I am presented with another list of endless choices. What city, what state, what is the street address blah blah. If EVERYTHING goes well and I happened to guide myself in the right direction, I may get directions to the CVS on Hoadly road. The thing I do not understand, if the car can listen to me, why can't I say everything at once. Directions to CVS on Hoadly road". I gave it what I wanted, Directions, CVS is a business, Hoadly road is a street name, and the GPS knows where I am and should be able to assume the closest fucking street named Hoadly Road near where I am.

That example is what happens when a car company hires a bunch or random people to build something for them.

Your location is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46984661)

Wi-Fi location technology just got a little more complicated.

In-car charging anyone? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46984707)

Last time I checked, I could already charge my phone in the car. So there goes the "battery drain" argument. And I can use the personal hotspot plan my phone already comes with. No thanks, GM.

Yes, for maps (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 months ago | (#46984729)

For maps 200MB is a fair amount, usually you are driving around the same areas and maps are heavily cached (and all of the modern mapping frameworks for mobile devices are vector based so they can send a lot of data for just a little bandwidth).

In fact T-Mobile today gives you 200MB/month free if you buy a T-Mobile iPad.

However having a cap is very bad, because maps integrated into a car will be relied on, and if near the end of the month it suddenly shut down it could easily leave you stranded. Hopefully that just means after that they would charge you some extra fee.

Personally I don't mind just using my smartphone as the data source but not everyone can deal with things like that.

Hey GM..... (1)

tburke261 (981079) | about 6 months ago | (#46984765)

I've give you $200 to install it and exactly $0/month to add it to the existing 'bucket' of 3G/4G I'm already way overcharged for. Oh, and I'll never drive one of your products.
(My Subaru will soon be getting a Wilson 4G LTE setup w/external antenna)

Battery? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46984771)

along with a Wi-Fi hotspot that operates without draining a mobile device's battery.

If only there were a way for me to power my smartphone when it's a hotspot in the car! Maybe it could draw power from the thing smokers use to light cigarettes since I have no use for that.

OnStar proves there's a market (1)

SethJohnson (112166) | about 6 months ago | (#46984783)

I'm with everyone else pooh-pooing this misguided disservice. It's not for us.

But, GM is not floating this concept out of sheer ignorance. They already have hooks into a certain collection of consumers who don't know crap and subscribe to OnStar because operating a GPS themselves is too complicated. GM marketing executives are sitting in board rooms laughing at how much money they are still getting out of these subscriptions while cellphones would seem to have made OnStar obsolete. This internet package is just an added service fee they're trying to pile on top of these clueless subscribers.

A closer look would likely reveal that many of them are still subscribing to AOL at home.

Re:OnStar proves there's a market (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 6 months ago | (#46984877)

the target customer, here, would be the same one that buys a 'smart tv' instead of using a computer and a tv monitor together.

note: there are more dummies in the world than smart guys. we are a tiny tiny minority in the world.

Re:OnStar proves there's a market (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | about 6 months ago | (#46985379)

the target customer, here, would be the same one that buys a 'smart tv' instead of using a computer and a tv monitor together.

note: there are more dummies in the world than smart guys. we are a tiny tiny minority in the world.

I bought a smart TV. It didn't cost much more than a regular TV - there are plenty in the budget category now. It has hassle-free built-in support for Netflix HD and Amazon Prime HD, both supporting surround sound. I didn't have to spend ages setting up a media PC, leaving it running all the time, showing other people how to use it, stuffing it into an already cramped space.

There's a difference between being a 'smart guy' and being judgmental to others just because you personally don't see the value in something.

That being said, I think smart TVs offer a lot more value to a lot more people than this offering from GM, for reasons many others have already posted.

Re:OnStar proves there's a market (1)

nblender (741424) | about 6 months ago | (#46984955)

There are people (I like to call them retards) who buy a new car every 2-3 years... They're not concerned with how much the car costs; only what their monthly payments are... They're not concerned with what gadgets are in the car and how functional or useful those gadgets are going to be in 5 years... As soon as the 'new car smell' fades away, it's time to buy another one... These are the people who will gladly get the internet option...

(sorry for any retards I've inadvertantly insulted).

Re:OnStar proves there's a market (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 6 months ago | (#46985381)

Think how valuable that chump list is.

Re:OnStar proves there's a market (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 months ago | (#46985647)

Some people have OnStar just because of the crash reporting stuff - it's not just for GPS. That's actually a pretty valuable service for someone older or driving alone a lot.

Pricing Disaster (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46984795)

Won't make money if they don't charge a lot... won't make money if they do...won't make money.

Car systems to be locked in? (1)

swb (14022) | about 6 months ago | (#46984805)

What bugs me about this is that I imagine that anything built into the car that could use internet connectivity will be locked into using the GM $5/day network, even if the widget in question is gaining access via Wifi to the OnStar wifi network and will not allow you to choose your own wifi (mobile hotspot, tethered phone, municipal wifi, etc).

For some reason I see a bunch of greedy bastards putting internet-aware applications into the car and then trying to squeeze you for the internet to make them work.

Uhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46984909)

I spend far less than $5 a day for cell phone + internet. Why would I pay $5 just so my car has internet? lol

Gm Executives are Stupid. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 months ago | (#46984921)

What is this 1998? A dedicated hotspot in the car? I can buy a portable hotspot that works better and is cheaper for service PLUS has LTE so it will be faster. Oh and It's also on my same phone bill so I have one bill.

This is more proof that GM is a has-been company that only makes medicore low grade products and is hell bent on staying that way.

Hey GM, Want to be a leader again? Shot for the highest quality and offer a 10 year 150,000 mile warranty that covers EVERYTHING as standard on your cars. nobody buys GM junk because it falls apart after 5 years and is over 10 years behind everyone else.

I grew up as a UAW/Chevy family kid and I will not touch the garbage that GM makes. Been burned too many times by their low grade dog food that they sell. Only way I will come back is they start fessing up to their mistakes and give us bumper to bumper zero cost 10 year warranties that cover over 15K miles a year driven. Make it no risk to me and I'll look at GM again.

Honda got my last 3 car purchases because of the very low risk of ownership.

Re: Gm Executives are Stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46985133)

I'll give you a little hint, those car makers with the highest quality actually offer the shortest warranties not the longest. The car manufacturers only offer long warranty periods if they are unrealable I. Order to induce the customers into buying their cars. Case in point Toyota 3 yar / 36k mile,. guess how long a warranty jeep has?

Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46985063)

Please, people... don't buy into this junk.
250MB is NOTHING(1/4 of a GB). Especially for that price, which is 5 times more expensive than my home internet bill, which I have 300GB for.
Just tether off your phone, which you hopefully have at least 1 to 5 GB of data monthly.

Cars or mobile entertainment facilities? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about 6 months ago | (#46985073)

Hey GM, you know what car I'd like to buy? A brand new, 1992 Toyota Pickup (Hilux). Brand new. I'd prefer locks and windows that engage manually. I'd prefer that I wasn't beeped at incessantly if my seat belt is not clipped in or my lights are on. I'd also like to have physical switches that control heat, etc.

I do not want an internet plan.

I do not want an "infotainment" system.

I do not want cameras mounted all over.

I do not want a tailgate that automatically deploys for anything.

I do not want a steering wheel with buttons all over it.

I do not want a seat with buttons all over it.

I do not need a special box for my sunglasses or garage opener.

Okay, I know, I have a huge lawn that people keep walking on, but really, why is there NOBODY that sells basic vehicles that aren't loaded with all sorts of "safety features" that simply provide a safer way to do unsafe things while you drive? Hell, you can't even buy a light-duty pickup anymore (though they might still classify them as such). I am in a vehicle to move myself and optionally some other materials from point A to point B. I don't need to be entertained. I don't need a computer to tell me how to drive. I just want to go somewhere.

... and with that, I will return to my fruitless search looking for the guy who was smart enough to buy a warehouse full of 1992 Toyota pickups and keep them garaged for 20 years.

Re:Cars or mobile entertainment facilities? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 6 months ago | (#46985373)

There is nothing in an old pickup that can't be put back into like new or better condition. For less then the price of a new truck. (or a then/than troll).

Re:Cars or mobile entertainment facilities? (1)

Algae_94 (2017070) | about 6 months ago | (#46985821)

Okay, I know, I have a huge lawn that people keep walking on, but really, why is there NOBODY that sells basic vehicles that aren't loaded with all sorts of "safety features" that simply provide a safer way to do unsafe things while you drive? Hell, you can't even buy a light-duty pickup anymore (though they might still classify them as such). I am in a vehicle to move myself and optionally some other materials from point A to point B. I don't need to be entertained. I don't need a computer to tell me how to drive. I just want to go somewhere.

I'm not sure what you mean by a light duty pickup. Considering your questioning of their availablity, I'd wager you mean something smaller than a "full-size" 1/2 ton truck. If that is the case you have 3 options. 1. Nissan Fronteir 2. Toyota Tacoma and coming back in the fall is 3. Chevy Colorado / GMC Canyon. A new one of these will have way more bells and whistles than that 1992 Toyota.

You can still order the "work truck" versions of 1/2 ton trucks and get them without all the power options on the seats, windows, etc. It will still be more than the '92 truck, but closer to what you want.

Re:Cars or mobile entertainment facilities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46986537)

Those are anything BUT small trucks and damn look at the first pictures GM shows of the 2015 Colorado, same old school GM dash and that really nice elaborate infotainment system. One of their major selling points is that "system", You already have one of those in your hands now and you can buy another one $0 and a two year phone contract.

http://www.chevrolet.com/2015-... [chevrolet.com]

Re:Cars or mobile entertainment facilities? (1)

RubberDogBone (851604) | about 6 months ago | (#46986509)

Don't forget the Hilux options for "Able to float out to sea and still run afterward" and "building demolition device"

GM would charge a LOT for those features and they wouldn't actually work.

$5 a day for cell data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46985089)

That's awful. If it was satellite internet and you could activate it in emergencies where you had no cell signal, they'd have something, but this just sucks.

Simple mount point for smart phone... (1)

Dastardly (4204) | about 6 months ago | (#46985151)

I have a Toyota Prius from the year before the Aux port was added (pisser). But, the one thing I really need, is a place to put the freaking phone. My solution is a phone case and some velcro tape on the center console (on the radio) and on the back of the phone. A few seconds to plugin the charger and stick the the phone to the console.

No stupid suction cup phone holders that don't stick properly or block visibility or don't fit the phone right so it falls out or whatever.\

It also works well when I want to use the golf app on my phone for scoring and range finding by sticking some velcro on my pull cart.

If it is good enough to put a man on the moon, it is good enough to hold my smart phone.

Re:Simple mount point for smart phone... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#46985285)

Actually, Velcro was good enough to help kill the crew of the Apollo 1.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Simple mount point for smart phone... (1)

danbert8 (1024253) | about 6 months ago | (#46985571)

Bullshit... The Velcro was only flammable in a high O2 atmosphere. Pretty much anything made with hydrogen in it at all will burn in a high oxygen environment. Heck even non-hydrogen containing materials will burn well if the temps get hot enough.

Can we please stop (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#46985253)

comparing everything to coffee?
"and less than a few espresso drinks"
or more expensive then a few, depending.

No Need (1)

MrBGsays (1785394) | about 6 months ago | (#46985365)

Verizon, tether no need for GM

GM: Welcome to 1995 (1)

pla (258480) | about 6 months ago | (#46985589)

"GM thinks they'll be drawn to 'a powerful antenna that's stronger than that of a smartphone, along with a Wi-Fi hotspot that operates without draining a mobile device's battery. That hotspot is on any time the car is on."

I actually use a 4g modem for my primary home internet. I have a cute little USB-powered fob that acts as a hotspot, and it has an external antenna port if you need a better signal.

And yes, I take it with me when I go on road-trips - I'd trade it in a heartbeat for "real" broadband at home, but portable does have its perks.

So what, exactly, does GM view as its market for this particular scam? People who need near-broadband speed in their cars, for some use that draws very little actual data (based on the caps mentioned), and have no clue how to use a MiFi/JetPack/etc 4g hotspot?

Too big to fail? More like too dumb to realize they've already died.

Re:GM: Welcome to 1995 (1)

bobjr94 (1120555) | about 6 months ago | (#46985701)

Well, I'm sure the gm board room is full of suits near/past retirement age. They have little knowledge of things like this work. They were likely approached by a mobile internet provider, told we have this great deal for you, you get 30% of sales and all you need to do is put this little box in your cars. You can keep making money on each car after it leaves the show room. They said yes, that's been the problem, we only make money off a car 1 time, when it sold, now we can keep bringing in money for years.

And Telsa will never be a problem. LOL (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 6 months ago | (#46985957)

Seriously, these companies are gutting themselves trying to figure out how to run up massive profit levels of 20, 50, 100% with enormous executive salaries/bonuses. And yet, here is Tesla who does not advertise ANYWHERE, and yet, they are backed up on sales. So, what do they do? They offer up the service equal to what Rolls Royce used to have, and solving all issues such as expensive batteries, and making long distance charging a none issue (either free, or if you want, you can rent a fully-charged battery that will carry you 2x as far).

GM, and other car companies like MB, Audi, Toyota, etc will never figure out what hit them until it is far too late.

This actually makes sense. (1)

EvilSS (557649) | about 6 months ago | (#46985985)

Well, it makes sense for GM anyway. The cars with OnStar are already equipped with the expensive part (the cellular modem). It's what OnStar uses. OnStar users are already paying for their data line with their subscription, so that's covered as well (non-OnStar users pay a premium to use the hotspot). Just work out a deal with the cell provider, toss in a cheap WiFi component (that you will pay for in the price of the car) and presto! A virtually no cost added (again, for GM) revenue source. The user paid for the hardware and the service, the cell company paid for the infrastructure, GM's cut is pure profit. Even if it's only used once per 1,000,000 vehicles a day it doesn't matter to them.

GM idiot tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46986027)

1) NO!
2) $10 Charging cable
3) (NO) (outrageous) PROFIT!

Maybe on a Bus and with Unlimited Bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46986229)

I'd just use my normal phone at its 10 cents-per-megabyte cost. Yeah, that adds up to $10 per 100 MB, but I'm only going to check email, Twitter, or a few light webpages. People with monthly data plans have no incentive to use GM's system.

I mean, I download a game from Steam and that's 10 gigabytes. Most cell companies would charge $5-10 per gigabyte. It simply doesn't make sense for most users.

What a car needs (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 6 months ago | (#46986477)

Some sort of standardized magnetic mount
QI Charging
Wifi Link or some standard to link to displays that can work on existing phones
Bluetooth, handsfree, audio, steering wheel controls, vehicle information
Some Wifi accessible storage

All potentially open standards.

Past that a Bluetooth GPS might be useful.

Lets face it phones update every couple years cars not so much. Pretty much a 1080p touchscreen and some bluetooth and let people with a clue deal with powering it.

Has GM ever, um seen, a modern mobile phone? (1)

RubberDogBone (851604) | about 6 months ago | (#46986497)

Has GM seen a modern mobile device? Oh they are magical things indeed! Maps, GPS, instant messaging, email, music streaming, podcasts, MP3s, even streaming live TV and video, almost anywhere.

And with bluetooth, all of that can be streamed right into the car audio system. Or you can use an aux cable, truly the tail of the magic fairy.

The best part, all of that is included with my phone plan. As much as a I want. Oh sure there's a cap, but exceeding it by a huge margin still wouldn't hit this $150 a month rate, and that cost there would be for something only usable in the car. My magic mobile? Goes with me where I go, and if you will excuse me, I am going to go now, if you get my meaning. But I'll be online the whole time.

Magic times these are!

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