General Motors and AT&T are ready to bring a next-generation network to cars in the very near future. On Thursday, the automaker announced it will equip its first cars with 5G connectivity for the 2024 model year. With the way wonky model years work, we could see the first vehicles in 2023. Both companies said this network and the technology coming to the future cars will specifically meet the needs of the automaker's future electric and autonomous cars.
In the most simplistic sense, this technology will mean faster speeds for downloading music, videos and various maps for navigation services. But it also extends to vehicle updates. As over-the-air technology becomes mainstream, GM vehicles will be able to download new updates quicker than ever as its brands launch new features for their cars, trucks and SUVs. Further, it's a way to make future technologies even snappier. Whatever the future holds for systems like Super Cruise, it rides on an ultrafast 5G network to process more data.
To be clear, GM won't flip a switch and give every car 5G. The automaker was careful to say that "select" 2024 vehicles will include the technology to start with. For 2019 and newer GM vehicles, they'll be part of a giant update, according to the automaker, which promised that these older cars will still receive faster speeds and many of the performance benefits from the proper 5G network.