I believe a lot of consumers will agree with you, Dave. Here's the response from Thilo Koslowski, who's been an expert analyst in this area since OnStar was launched in the late '90s: "You'll probably see improved experiences (in the vehicle) with an embedded module because you'll have the antenna and you won't have to worry about running out of battery." Koslowski also offered this thought: "This is only going to be successful if GM can work out very attractive data plans for consumers to use these services."
I don't see why this would be such a desirable option. My kids can already get all the internet access they want thanks to their smartphones. Why would I pay extra so that they can have internet access on a screen attached to the back of a seat?
As the article mentions, the hardware will probably be outdated by the time the car makes it to the dealer's lot, never mind after you've owned the car for a year. My kids can upgrade their smartphones every year or so. Is GM going to offer free hardware upgrades every year?
Then again, I don't even like automatic windows or door locks. The only option I want in a car is air conditioning. I am not impressed when auto manufacturers try to pump up the sale price of a vehicle by adding a bunch of options that don't add any real value.
And the other point is all the niche car manufactures now look at to add more features to the back seat passengers why because the customer use that kind of vehicles most probably have a drivers for them self.
Last year December I had a chance to participate some online research done by the Chrysler about these features. They are planning to have more options for the rear seat passengers for their future vehicles. USB Connection, Audio controls, reading lights, 12V power socket, cubby hole are the futures that they lock at.
If GM will be able to do this I believe that they will be the pioneers to have the 4G on a vehicle. Because at the moment as I know (Correct me if I am wrong) only Mercedes Benz have the on car hotspot. That is also coming as an optional feature not as a standard option.
Any way that is the market that manufacture should address in the future.
A good point was made by naperlou about cell service continuing to support older technology. Does that mean that the Hotspot is cell based or satellite? Can I replace my present 4G LTE broadband service by simply tapping into the hotspot from my house while the car is parked in front of it?
With my present broadband service I can do the same as the hotspot, but I'll make the assumption the hotspot will amplify the signal enough to work anywhere. In some remote areas I don't get a signal in the car.
Chuck, this is an interesting development. Does it mean that, while I am in a parking lot I can sit there and surf the web. Wow! I also wonder how they will stop a front seat passenger with a tablet from using the hot spot feature.
As for obsolesence, remember that the cell phone network, on which this feature depends, is very good at supporting older devices even as new devices come out. WiFi is this way as well. If you will notice, most WiFi routers support all the older modulation schemes as well as the latest. There are ocassionally transitions, such as from analog to digital, but these are rare. Also, if the car companies are consumer friendly, they could make both the hardware and the software upgradable.
California State University, Chico was the first school in California to offer an ABET-accredited degree program in mechatronic engineering. Now its California Mechatronics Center works with industry on machinery, robotics, and surveillance vehicles.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.