Vodafone and AT&T join with Vauxhall to support OnStar service 0

Though it might seem like a mixed message, just because a mobile phone company and a car company are in cahoots does not mean you can now text whilst driving.

Mobile data providers AT&T and Vodafone announced they will be the network that will support the OnStar 4G LTE service available in Vauxhall vehicles in Europe, including its all-new Astra.

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Vauxhall’s OnStar connected car service provides drivers with information about their car, assists with navigation and will provide assistance if involved in a collision. This kind of integrated technology is set to become increasingly prevalent in the automobile industry in the coming years, with many carmakers already providing smart infotainment systems as standard. The OnStar programme has been around in the United States a lot longer than in Europe, and has proven to be a huge success. The system works by using three buttons; one with a blue OnStar logo on it is used to reach an OnStar advisor, a second with a red SOS symbol on it is for emergency situations and the third is a privacy button that switches off the system’s GPS locator.

The idea behind the connected car service is to make driving both safer and simpler. It offers owners GPS and a telecommunications service, as well as monitoring maintenance issues and diagnosing any problems with the car. In the UK, OnStar sends your location via GPS to its command headquarters in Luton, who can then use the system to locate where you are and assist you in navigating to a desired location. OnStar will also serve as a mobile wifi hotspot, provided it has signal which is where the Vodafone collaboration starts to make sense, allowing everyone in the car to connect their devices to the internet. With up to seven devices being able to connect at once, road trips with the family are sure to be a lot smoother with everyone face down in a gadget.

The collaboration between AT&T and Vauxhall will see the system, which has already been introduced in 14 European countries, expanded and improved, with an all new 4G LTE version. “Internet in the car is the must-have service for the connected car consumer. I am pleased that, thanks to this agreement, OnStar customers get to experience Vodafone’s 4G LTE network across Europe,” said Erik Brenneis, Vodafone director of Machine to Machine.