Samsung hops aboard AT&T's connected-car program

Developers including Glympse and Audiobooks.com are also making their apps available to the AT&T Drive platform.

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Roger Cheng
2 min read

AT&T's Drive Studio facility in Atlanta. Samsung has signed on as a new partner. AT&T

LAS VEGAS -- AT&T has signed up a big ally to aid in its efforts to maintain its pole position in the burgeoning connected-car business.

AT&T said Samsung would serve as a sponsor and partner on Drive Studio, the telecommunications provider's connected-car lab in Atlanta. In addition, AT&T said, five developers would make their apps available to the Drive platform. The announcement was made Monday at the company's developer conference, one of the first events of the International CES.

As AT&T's core business of selling smartphone services begins to slow, the Dallas-based company is looking elsewhere for growth. It sees a large opportunity in providing wireless services to cars, and providing the tools to automakers to make their vehicles smarter, with apps ranging from entertainment to safety.

See also: CNET's complete coverage of CES 2015

A year ago, AT&T unveiled its Drive Studio facility and the Drive platform. Since then, it has added auto manufacturers and developers to strengthen its credibility and reach into the auto industry.

Samsung brings one of the biggest names in consumer electronics to the Drive Studio. AT&T said the sponsorship agreement includes software and services utilizing Samsung handsets, tablets and wearable devices, but didn't provide any additional detail.

The five developers include Audiobooks.com, which will offer an app that allows drivers to search, download or stream audiobooks to their connected car; Glympse, an app that shares your location of your car; AetherPal, an app that connects the driver with customer care representatives who can diagnose and resolve issues with the vehicle; Dash Radio, which provides access to more than 60 original live digital radio stations; and Eventseeker, which uses the driver's social, music and device libraries to find artists and events that are nearby.