2015 Chevy Volt to Get Optional OnStar 4G LTE

JAN 6 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 24

Come 2015, the Chevy Volt Will Get Optional OnStar 4G LTE

Come 2015, the Chevy Volt Will Get Optional OnStar 4G LTE

General Motors has leaked the first bit of information on the Model Year 2015 Chevrolet Volt.

Unfortunately, it’s not a pricing leak or a specification leak.  Rather, it’s an OnStar update leak.

This leak does also fully confirm that a Model Year 2015 Volt is coming, so there’s now absolutely no doubt.  (not that we ever did)

Per General Motors:

Starting this summer, Chevrolet will have some of the fastest vehicles on the roads, and that has nothing to do with horsepower. Chevrolet drivers will be enjoying high-speed data – made possible by a new OnStar 4G LTE connection in the vehicle, running on AT&T’s network, the nation’s fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network.

Chevrolet today announced at the Consumer Electronics Show that the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette, Impala, Malibu, and Volt would be the first General Motors’ vehicles to come optionally equipped with OnStar 4G LTE. They will be followed by the Equinox, Silverado, Silverado HD, Spark and Spark EV. In the Canadian market, OnStar with 4G LTE will be introduced on the Chevrolet Trax as well. The majority of the 2015 Chevrolet lineup in the U.S and Canada will have a 4G LTE connection built-in at vehicle launch. More models will be announced later this year.

OnStar 4G LTE Image

OnStar 4G LTE Image

GM describes the OnStar 4g LTE system as follows:

“Chevrolet is expected to implement the broadest deployment of 4G LTE in the automotive industry,” said Alan Batey, senior vice president of Global Chevrolet. “The fact that OnStar with 4G LTE will be available in models that range from the Chevrolet Spark to the Silverado to the Corvette, is indicative of our broad commitment to deliver more value and convenience through smart technology applications. This new, purposeful technology solution will make our consumers lives easier to connect.”

Vehicles Equipped with Built-in Wi-Fi Hotspot

The 4G LTE rollout will bring a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot to most Chevrolet vehicles, which allows passengers to connect their personal devices, such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, to high-speed wireless internet. Each vehicle can accommodate multiple devices at one time.

“We know that our customers rely on being connected on a daily, if not hourly basis, and they expect to be provided with the information and content they desire with no interruptions,” said Mary Chan, president, GM’s Global Connected Consumer. “A 4G LTE hotspot that’s built into a car’s architecture will provide a more consistent and powerful Wi-Fi connection than a smartphone.”

With OnStar’s 4G LTE connection, the vehicle acts as a mobile hub, giving customers easier access to apps and services that require a high-speed cellular or data connection. The vehicle will employ a wireless connection that does not rely on a brought-in mobile device.

In collaboration with AT&T, the data connection in the car will be fast – and flexible. Current AT&T customers will be able to add their vehicle to a shareable bucket of data through AT&T Mobile Share plans. All drivers can also pay for data as a standalone option. Additional pricing and data packages for OnStar 4G LTE will be announced later in 2014.

Chevrolet AppShop Offers Connected Car Personalization

Chevrolet MyLink will offer consumers an enhancement with the built in AppShop, available on select 2015 Chevrolet models in the U.S. and Canada. AppShop will benefit from the embedded 4G LTE connection.

Chevrolet AppShop is accessible through an icon on the MyLink screen that allows owners to view all available apps and download them directly to the vehicle, then organize, update or delete them as needed. Available apps will connect drivers to vehicle data, music, news, weather, travel information and more.

“The built-in 4G LTE connection will allow our vehicles to be updated with the latest software and apps,” said Chan. “This means that the driver’s vehicle infotainment systems can keep getting better after purchase as customers can continue to add on and customize their features.”

An initial list of planned apps announced today includes Vehicle Health, iHeartRadio, Priceline.com, The Weather Channel, NPR, Slacker Radio, TuneIn Radio, Cityseeker, Eventseeker, Glympse and Kaliki.

OnStar’s 10th Generation to Debut

Chevrolet’s 4G LTE launch coincides with the 10th hardware generation of OnStar, a service that debuted in GM vehicles in 1996. The upgrade will allow for 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 drivers,” said Terry Inch, chief operating officer, OnStar. “4G LTE will enable the most powerful OnStar connection ever.”

OnStar Advisors currently respond to approximately 185,000 calls every day or more than two calls every second. OnStar is standard across the 2014 Chevrolet lineup. The OnStar RemoteLink Key Fob Services smartphone app, which allows owners to lock or unlock doors, activate the horn and lights, and remotely start a properly-equipped vehicle, is included for five years for properly equipped Chevrolet vehicles in the U.S.

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24 Comments on "2015 Chevy Volt to Get Optional OnStar 4G LTE"

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This is a great idea but at least five years too late. Smartphones and tablets provide these features in a more flexible way, and they probably cost less. GM should be partnering with those technologies, not competing with them.

Agreed. Instead of locking out the customer, they should just enable them to tether their own device for a data connection, if desired.

Not necessarily. There are a great number of wifi enabled tablets, 3DSs, iPods, etc that could use this. Also, you can add the OnStar to your AT&T family account as another user of pooled data. It will probably have a more powerful antenna than a cell phone.

I agree. My Nexus 7 only has Wifi, no 4G. I would use it vs. my phone when travelling. Not to mention anyone w/a laptop. Most people by now know how to connect to a WiFi hot spot, but not good at tethering a 4G device.

My question is will they offer an “unlimited” package? If so, would people use it for their home WiFi vs. paying for another service?

I’d be willing to bet that it will not be unlimited or price-competitive to the tethering services already offered by Verizon and AT&T. And all of these are more expensive than DSL/Cable internet.

Tethering my iPhone seems pretty simple. I just tap the “Hotspot” button, then its WIFI becomes visible to the devices around me.

It is also nice to see that the Spark EV is on the list for later vehicles to get the option. Maybe by then someone can convince them to make it more than a compliance car.

That would be called leadership on behalf of Mary Barra and it would be a good indicator if she can lead GM and get the dealerships to play ball. A 200-mile affordable BEV from GM sounds nice, but the SparkEV is the BEV GM has here and now. If GM believes in plugins this car should be on the market everywhere, including Europe.

Spark is an eyesore

Your comments are an eyesore.

A 24kwh+ battery would be nicer…

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Is 4G service going to be free, or a separate subscription?

Cuz I really don’t need my car to be a hotspot, I just want software updates and faster interaction with the mobile apps and website.

Many people need to car to be a hotspot for work or for kids. Many discussions about this on the Tesla forums. Exist is various work trucks as well.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Fair ’nuff, but portable 4G hotspots are pretty cheap, can be recharged via USB, and don’t lock you into a provider.. If I didn’t have AP capability in my Galaxy Note II, I’d probably have one of these doing that job:

https://ting.com/devices/buy/Novatel-Mifi-500

$154 + $6/mo + variable data with soft and hard caps. I don’t work for them, I just like the service (Sprint MVNO).

its called the Volt 2.0 right now…

Well, like it or not, it’s a Godsend to anyone that currently uses the (hideously slow) OnStar. Maybe their app will actually report the vehicle’s state of charge in under 5 min now.

The SOC is a text value and at the most 7 characters long.
100.00%
4 characters if it’s just 100%.
Even if it had only a 56k modem, you should get your data within a few seconds.

If it’s slow now, chances are it will still be slow. the app is the problem. Most likely poorly written.

The SOC indicator from the home pc is MUCH much slower than the smartphone app. It takes over a minute sometimes to get a silly 2 digit number sent between the car , Detroit, Michigain, and your home PC.

This is when it works. Sometimes it repeatedly says ‘try again’ (after waiting over the required minute), and other times it fails 100% of the time so you have to call detroit to get them to reset something.

If this is the best GM can do, I think I’ll let my ONStar subscription lapse when expired. After all, when converting to 4G LTE, how many minutes will it then take to send 2 characters?

Key for the Volt and Spark EV will be real-time updating of a charger map, whether they are occupied, etc. LTE would enable this.

I also bet it is a chance to get owners to better appreciate, and witness a more built-out Onstar application (droid/apple). I still have never witnessed another Volt pre-conditioning at a charger, and am not sure how many owners have even ever tried it.

I remotely precondition my Volt all the time, sometimes even when it is not plugged. The problem is that using the app takes so long that it drains my phone battery, my hand gets frozen, and I grow a beard while waiting for the reply. 😉

lol….

I used OnStar to precondition my Volt yesterday (not plugged in). I was at an event and knew I’d be leaving in about 10-15 minutes. It was nice to sit in a warm car w/the windows already clean, while it was -11 outside with snow blowing around.

There are many ways you can share/tether your cell phones 4G.
Or do as “Dr. Kenneth Noisewater” says. that’s even a better solution.

I have a company phone that does not allow tethering. This would be a good option for me (and anyone else at my company). All depends on price though.