Milestones

GM is the first automaker to pass 1 million Wi-Fi subscriptions, HBO Max coming to cars

General Motors has surpassed more than 1 million Wi-Fi subscribers.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

In a world where we're constantly connected to everyone and everything, there's no escaping that vehicles have now become more than just transportation. They're nearly equal parts connected device.

In September, General Motors became the first automaker with more than 1 million subscriptions to its Wi-Fi-enabled data services provided by AT&T. They hit this milestone just six years after launching 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spots in models across their lineup in the U.S. and Canada.

Since that time, GM has integrated the communication device into a more vital role for customers. Its connectivity currently serves as a key component of OnStarCrisis Assist, which serves GM customers impacted by disasters. Earlier this year, approximately 180,000 drivers in the U.S. and Canada enrolled in Crisis Assist to help navigate the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

General Motors tablet Wi-Fi New General Motors SUVs offer streaming services rather than traditional entertainment stations for rear seat passengers.Photo courtesy of General Motors

Wi-Fi connectivity plans are most popular with owners of trucks and SUVs. In the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade, traditionanl DVD player entertainment systems have gone by the wayside in favor of streaming services. Available now in the App Store and Google Play for all U.S. unlimited data plan subscribers, the WarnerMedia RIDE app brings a unique smartphone or tablet experience with access to video content from Bleacher Report, Cartoon Network, CNN, HBO, TBS, TNT, truTV, Warner Bros. Television as well as other WarnerMedia content.

Next year, GM and AT&T plan to add HBO Max to a unique premium bundle of streaming content to complement the WarnerMedia RIDE and in-vehicle Wi-Fi offering.

"Being a leader in connected vehicles means constant innovation, listening to customers, and taking an inclusive approach by partnering with others who bring great entertainment and customer experiences into our vehicles," said Santiago Chamorro, GM vice president of Global Connected Services. "One million data subscribers is much more than just a number. It represents countless road trips where kids aren't asking, 'Are we there yet,' and people using their vehicles as classrooms and home offices just to make life a bit smoother. We're motivated to empower even more people moving forward."

"Connectivity is at the heart of today's driving experience," said Joe Mosele, vice president, AT&T Global Business Solutions. "We are incredibly excited to bring a fast and reliable Wi-Fi experience to millions of GM customers combined with some of WarnerMedia's most iconic brands and content libraries for more entertainment on the go."

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The 2022 Acura TLX has the technology enabled.

Photo courtesy of Acura

Toyota and Lexus announced that the WarnerMedia RIDE app would be coming to their models earlier this year. Now, Honda and Acura will be offering the same.

On certain Wi-Fi enabled Honda and Acura vehicles, AT&T unlimited in-car Wi-Fi users will have access to the WarnerMedia RIDE app. The app allows users to connect multiple devices in their vehicles to browse, stream and share premium content from the WarnerMedia library while on the road.

Honda and Acura vehicle owners have been able to use their on-board modem as a hot spot for connecting up to seven devices since 2017. Models compatible for the new tech include the Acura RDX (2019-present), Acura TLX (2021), and Acura MDX (2022) across all trim levels. Honda vehicles with the tech include Accord (2018-present, Touring), Odyssey (2018-present; Touring, Elite), Insight (2019-present, Touring)., Passport (2019-present; Touring, Elite)., and Pilot (2019-present; Touring, Elite, Black Edition).

The WarnerMedia RIDE App allows passengers to access 1,000+ hours of live and on-demand entertainment. The app includes hit TV shows and movies from top brands such as Cartoon Network, CNN, HBO Max, TBS, TNT and TruTV, spanning animation, entertainment, news, sports and more.

WarnerMedia RIDE app The WarnerMedia RIDE app allows users to choose their own avatar.Photo courtesy of Acura

Users can set up profiles and personalize their user exerpience with an avatar from the WarnerMedia library. Profiles also ensure age-appropriate content with options for adults to restrict access to their profiles with an access code.

"Wireless connectivity and connected car services continue to be key features for customers and our long-standing relationship with AT&T continues to be one way we deliver exciting new content to Honda and Acura owners," said Art St. Cyr, vice president of North American Auto Strategy for American Honda. "Honda will continue working to enhance the in-car experience, including the capabilities of the AT&T network and access to top content with WarnerMedia RIDE."

"We're always looking for new and innovative ways to elevate the connected car experience for our customers. With WarnerMedia RIDE, we are delivering a connected experience that's perfect for journeys," said Joe Mosele, vice president, Mobility & Internet of Things, AT&T. "Our collaboration is keeping Honda and Acura owners connected wherever they travel with hours of news and entertainment for the whole family."

WarnerMedia RIDE is available now in the App Store and on Google Play for all U.S. unlimited data plan subscribers. WarnerMedia RIDE is included at no additional cost for existing and new unlimited subscribers.

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General Motors and Lockheed Martin will design a prototype of a vehicle that's capable of traversing Mars.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

Toyota and Hyundai aren't the only automakers getting into the extra terrestrial mobility game. A new partnership between Lockheed Martin and General Motors will develop the next generation of lunar vehicles to transport astronauts to the surface of the Moon.

NASA's Artemis program has plans to send Americans back to the moon. Like the military did when they asked for an off-road-worthy transport vehicle for combat support use in the early 1940s, NASA is asking the automotive and aeronautics industry to develop a Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) to enable astronauts to explore the lunar surface father than ever before. The Apollo rovers only ventured 4.7 miles.

Lockheed Martin brings a 50-year history of working with NASA on a variety of deep-space human and robotic spacecraft, such as NASA's Orion exploration-class spaceship for Artemis, to the table. The company's crafts and systems have been to every planet in the solar system.

Lockheed Martin General Motors Partner to Develop Next-Generation Lunar Rover www.youtube.com

"This alliance brings together powerhouse innovation from both companies to make a transformative class of vehicles," said Rick Ambrose, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Space. "Surface mobility is critical to enable and sustain long-term exploration of the lunar surface. These next-generation rovers will dramatically extend the range of astronauts as they perform high-priority science investigation on the Moon that will ultimately impact humanity's understanding of our place in the solar system."

General Motors, which first worked with NASA during the Apollo missions and helped develop the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), that was used on Apollo 15-17 missions, is bringing its electric battery and autonomous vehicle technology know-how to the partnership.

"General Motors made history by applying advanced technologies and engineering to support the Lunar Rover Vehicle that the Apollo 15 astronauts drove on the Moon," said Alan Wexler, senior vice president of Innovation and Growth at General Motors. "Working together with Lockheed Martin and their deep-space exploration expertise, we plan to support American astronauts on the Moon once again."

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