The automotive industry had been behind for quite a while when it came to emerging technologies. Over the last decade, the industry in general has gone from behind the times to cutting edge. Now, they might be too far ahead of the rest of the infrastructure necessary to make their technologies effective.
4G cars are making their way to the U.S., starting first with the Audi A3 and eventually a whole fleet of GM vehicles. Embedded LTE could soon be streaming music to our dashboards, providing real-time traffic alerts to our nav systems and downloading Thomas the Tank Engine reruns for Junior to watch in his car seat.
The car will become a new type of connected device like our smartphones and tablets, and like those gadgets our 4G cars will require data plans. But unlike the smartphone and tablet, we’re not going to have a choice on what carrier we buy those plans from. It might seem absurd, but in the U.S. our 4G cars are going to be linked to a specific carrier, just as the first three generations of iPhones were tied to AT&T.