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General Motors to Bring OnStar to Europe

Another step on the road to connected cars.

General Motors

General Motors used the platform of the wireless industry’s trade show in Las Vegas to announce it will bring its OnStar service to select countries in Europe.

Mary Chan, president of GM’s connected consumer business, offered few details of the rollout, beyond saying it plans to take its subscription safety and navigation service beyond the United States and Canada to parts of Europe.

The OnStar service is powered by AT&T.

In the U.S., the Detroit automaker introduced OnStar 4G LTE wireless hotspots in some of its vehicles in July, including the Chevrolet Malibu, Impala and Volt and Buick Regal and LaCrosse. GM plans to offer 4G LTE connections for more than 30 of its models by the end of the year, Chan said.

“Our company certainly believes in this embedded technology,” Chan said. “This is not about just bringing in a Wi-Fi hotspot. We’re turning this into a connected platform, and building in safety and security.”

The connected car is becoming increasingly commonplace as drivers look to access Internet-delivered services, such as music streaming, in their vehicles.

Ralph de la Vega, chief executive of AT&T Mobile and Business Solutions Group, said 60 percent of cars in the U.S. will have built-in wireless connections by 2017, based on forecasts from researcher Strategy Analytics.

That’s about 10 million four-wheeled smartphones, de la Vega noted.

Cars equipped with built-in connections to wireless networks present an opportunity for carriers like AT&T to acquire new customers by offering service contracts that allow the sharing of data between family members as well as devices.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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