Verizon teams up with BMW, Honda, others to bring LTE to cars

Verizon teams up with BMW, Honda, others to bring LTE to cars
Verizon Wireless is serious about 4G LTE technology - it was the first to bring the high-speed network in its full glory to the wide masses, then it said it will only sell LTE smartphones this year, and now it’s trying to make your car into one big 4G LTE hotspot.

How could that become a reality? How about setting up its own 4G Venture Forum for Connected Cars including car makers like BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Toyota? Still not convinced? Then how about the engineering effort backed up by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s mechanical engineering professor Sanjay Sarma?

If that doesn’t convince you, then probably the full press release below won’t either, but you should still check it out. And yes, a connected car would be an even further distraction or help, depending on how you use it, right?

source: BGR

Verizon Joins With Leading Global Auto Companies To Establish 4G Venture Forum for Connected Cars
BASKING RIDGE, N.J., June 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Verizon today announced the formation of the 4G Venture Forum for Connected Cars, a group of leading global automotive companies brought together by Verizon to accelerate the pace of innovation across the automotive and telematics 4G LTE ecosystem.
BMW, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors and Toyota Motor Sales, Inc. are joining Verizon as the initial members of the Forum.  Professor Sanjay Sarma of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also joins the Forum, providing members a link to track important advancements in related academic research.  The group will collaborate and explore ways to deliver connectivity to vehicles of all types, by leveraging open standards and discussing ways to accelerate development of the 4G LTE ecosystem across automotive OEMs, suppliers, device manufacturers, application developers and content publishers.
“There are many challenges to designing next generation telematics and infotainment solutions, including supporting safe and responsible driving, advancing vehicle-to-vehicle solutions and improving sustainability, among others,” said Tami Erwin, chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless.  ”As an innovator in the technology industry, Verizon is a natural impetus for this collaboration, which we all expect will include other companies and spur results that will benefit not only the industry, but millions of consumers around the world.”
Telematics is a growing opportunity that integrates telecommunications and information into vehicles to provide functionality to drivers and passengers.  The 4G Venture Forum for Connected Cars will help discover ways to increase the value of services, ranging from embedded cloud-connected solutions to mobile applications; help define features and explore safety systems; and encourage third-party developers in this space.
Verizon has a strong commitment to collaboration and innovation through its Innovation Program, and through the 4G Venture Forum, which was created in 2009 to identify and support new ideas related to advanced wireless networks and to provide market validation for innovative companies.  The 4G Venture Forum for Connected Cars complements and extends the approach of the 4G Venture Forum, focusing exclusively on the automotive space to address the specific needs of this growing market.
Verizon Wireless has the largest 4G LTE network, now available in 258 markets and covering more than two-thirds of the U.S. population.  The Forum may support and fund advancements regardless of underlying network technology; companies will not be obligated to work with Verizon and are not precluded from working with other service providers.


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11 Comments

1. tedkord

Posts: 17511; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Awesome! Now, if they bundle the data with our upcoming family share plans, we can burst through our data caps in half the time! Verizon's newest best-selling product - Overages.

2. hitechredneck

Posts: 103; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Great just what we need more people fiddling with their phones and gadgets and not paying attention to driving. I hope the government passes a law to ban cell phone usage in cars. I have never seen more drivers driving on the road with their cell phones up to their ears and not paying attention. Really grinds my gears anymore. Thats why there's so many accidents anymore. I can tell you this if I get in an accident with someone and they're on their phone trust me I'll sue the hell out of 'em. Lord some people can't walk and chew gum at the same time.

3. androiddownsouth

Posts: 598; Member since: May 02, 2012

Driving while talking with the phone held up to your ear SHOULD be illegal, but if you are using hands free technology, you should be ok, imo. Talking on a bluetooth or car integrated hands free system is not really different than talking to a person sitting in the seat next to you. Banning all phone use no matter what would be a step too far imo. What's next, banning speaking to a passenger in the car? No total ban please, but definitely has to be hands free.

4. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

In CA there already is a hands free law. Now, I do see mostly teenage girls holding their phone to their ears and texting A LOT. Just the other day there was one right behind me on the freeway, texting and tailgating in a Land Rover!!! I quickly moved over and let her through. A total ban is ridiculous, but they should at least give you a huge ticket for not being hands free.

5. jamhet13

Posts: 6; Member since: Feb 20, 2012

I want to be one of their test subjects when they get something in development. I'm a Verizon customer and just recently purchased a Hyundai Veloster. I use my built in bluetooth all the time. I agree with androiddownsouth, talking on a bluetooth is no different than talking to a passenger.

7. DarkCobra

Posts: 16; Member since: Oct 04, 2009

I'm in the same camp that's starting to think we're cramming way too much distracting technology into our vehicles. Complicated stereos, Blue tooth, LTE, DVD's, lap top USB plugs, etc. I know this makes me sound grumpy but the carnage on the road is mounting. True high end sports cars don't even contain a simple radio and for good reason. You should have 100% of your focus on the driving experience and nothing else. It may be cool and convenient to have all this high tech stuff but we're paying a high price through the loss of loved ones and innocent other people. I don't mind pulling over to make a call, but I guess that's too much to ask others to do huh? I'll now get flamed for saying this but it needs to be said. So have it and start flaming me for saying it.

8. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

No, you get a thumbs up. I completely agree. The main concern a driver should have is to pay attention to the road and surroundings outside the vehicle. But today's manufacturers could care less, and are making the interior of such vehicles akin to the cockpit of an F-18, with several systems operating at the same time and that require a constant flow of information and undivided attention. They don't really care as long as they can make a killing, no pun intended. Remember, it was an uphill battle to get them to even install safety belts in the first place.

9. ronjr123

Posts: 88; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

I used to be a fan of handsfree devices. I used to travel the country and would talk all day while driving both personal and business. The type of call really makes a difference to your attention level. During a heavy phone call, I would loose track of where I was or going. I would ignore the GPS or any road signs. A lot of the time I would miss an exit or turn or something. I still travel but my current employer has banned phone use all together in their vehicles. At first I thought this a nuisance. But after doing this for awhile, powering down the phone completely while driving, I actually find that I am a lot safer driver. And my travels are much more stress free. I wish everyone would do this.

10. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

Sprint has been doing this for years, Amazon Kindle, Ford Sync, law enforcement in-vehicle internet, insurance companies monitoring drivers who opt-in, wireless utility meters that dont need a "meter reader", etc... use Sprint's Machine to Machine (M2M) embedded solutions.

11. androiddownsouth

Posts: 598; Member since: May 02, 2012

While I agree that there need to be stricter laws across the board regarding communications in moving vehicles, I still say that using a hands free device is no more distracting than having a conversation with someone sitting in the passenger seat. As such, at what point do we draw the line? Here's my experience and perspective: I drive a 300+ hp Mustang, 6 speed. I have a basic radio and use a bluetooth. When driving, if I am in heavy traffic, I just don't answer the phone. I use my common sense to know when I can talk, and when I can't. It's not hard, imo. I NEVER read or send texts while driving. Not to mention, I remember taking my driving exam. WHAT A JOKE! I drove around for a couple minutes in a residential neighborhood, pulled into a driveway, backed out, and went back to the station, and boom, had my license. I could have done that when I was 10. Some people honestly just should not be allowed to drive....... And by the way, my driving record is 100% clean.

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