General Motors will add 5G connectivity to its vehicles through a partnership with AT&T, the automaker announced last week in a press release.
5G connectivity will launch in certain 2024-model-year vehicles, GM said. That could include the GMC Hummer EV SUV, which is already confirmed as a 2024 model. In addition, 2019-and-newer models with built in 4G LTE connectivity will get faster network speeds and “many of the same performance benefits” of 5G-equipped vehicles through an upgraded network, GM claims.
Most current models from GM’s four United States brands—Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac—get 4G LTE connectivity as standard equipment. These vehicles will be added to the new network once infrastructure is available, according to GM.
2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
The rollout follows a two-year development program, which included testing 5G-equipped vehicles at the GM proving grounds in Milford, Michigan, the automaker said. AT&T was also GM’s telecom partner for 4G LTE connectivity, which began rolling out in 2014, and enables built-in wi-fi hotspots.
GM said 5G will be an important part of its over-the-air (OTA) software update strategy, which follows Tesla’s lead in using such updates to add new features, or tweak existing ones. Other automakers, including rival Ford, are also embracing OTA updates for similar reasons. In 2019, the Blue Oval said it would begin using 5G networks for so-called V2X tech, which allows vehicles to communicate with each other and their surroundings.
The automaker is in the midst of a high-tech makeover centered around the Ultium modular EV battery system and related platform, as well as the wider rollout of tech features like the Super Cruise driver-assist system. GM also recently unveiled plans for a $71 million California design center, and announced that it “aspires” to eliminate tailpipes from all of its light-duty vehicles by 2035.