AT&T and Autonet Mobile announced a partnership under which AT&T’s 4G LTE wireless connectivity will power the integrated connected car services Autonet provides to carmakers.
Drivers use Autonet Mobile’s integrated telematics to control their connected cars remotely through an app on their smartphone.
The system allows users to, among other things, lock and unlock a vehicle remotely, manage teenage driving through parental controls, check car maintenance reports, and use in-car WiFi.
Autonet Mobile currently provides connected car services to Chrysler Fiat Automobiles, General Motors, Maserati, Subaru and other auto brands.
"With a dedicated focus on minimizing driver distraction, AT&T is working with automakers to build innovative new solutions to make the in-car experience better for the driver and passengers," Joe Mosele, vice president of IoT solutions business development for AT&T Mobility, told eWEEK.
AT&T’s Drive can be used for connectivity, billing solutions, data analytics and infotainment, and the platform also allows automakers and developers to build their own customized connected car solutions.
"Some of the ways AT&T is working to provide a safer driving experience include remote engine diagnostics, stolen vehicle recovery, and automatic collision notification," Mosele explained. "For example, Car Connection 2.0 allows consumers to monitor, manage and maintain not only their own and other family drivers’ habits, but also vehicle performance and maintenance."
AT&T also announced in March that AT&T Digital Life, the company’s home security and automation service, will connect in the car through the global Drive Platform.
The integration means the Digital Life app can be accessed through the car’s dashboard control panel or voice recognition, linking customers to their automation and security features including, door locks, lighting, thermostat and the garage door.
Consumers are increasingly aware of connected car options and they are eager to use them, according to an AT&T Drive Studio and Ericsson survey on the influence that connected car features and services are expected to have on customers' vehicle purchase decisions in the future.
The survey found that half of all drivers surveyed worldwide would switch brands to a comparable brand to get connected car services.
In addition, 72 percent of drivers would delay a car purchase by one year to buy a car with connected car services from their preferred brand. Almost two-thirds of drivers surveyed after learning about connected car services consider them an important feature in their next car, and 67 percent of U.S. drivers indicated they would probably or definitely buy connectivity or WiFi service if available in their car.