Spent some time today with the latest Regal and Lacrosse sedans from Buick - a surprising leader in the tech segment of the car business.
Standard 4G LTE in all 2015 Buicks (except the Enclave, which makes it for 2016) will make the first three months of owning car car true heaven. That is the length of the trial period of in-car 4GLTE services with Onstar. I say this with a bit of a smirk because the sign-up rate will be amazingly high. The pricing, already-installed access and friendliness of the sign-in for up to seven devices is a miracle on the road and when parked.
Mobile broadband is really the holy grail for in-car services. Buick mounts the mobile internet card in such a way that seriously rapid internet is no longer and urban thing, or a home-only luxury.
The different broadband made for the home web was like moving from enjoying content at the pace of a 3MB Napster music file to 5GB movie downloads from iTunes in 2014. So the array of entertainment has scaled in a similar exponential way.
Onstar goes from acting as a reactive and safety-oriented focus to the core tech functions of the car. The mirror buttons are still present, but are part of the whole range of safety benefits or AppLink remote convenience features that includes the main info screen.
The applications are simple to use and now are free from any mobile data link needed before.
Finally, the pricing is easy and flexible. Daily passes are also offered starting from just $5.
But most will just go for the monthly rate. Suddenly, 4GLTE on the road just became a new tech standard. Going back will be like the stone-age again, which makes the new Encore, Regal and Lacrosse even more compelling. They can each be had with AWD and are definitely worth the test-drive for BMW or Mercedes shoppers.
May will definitely like Buick's comfort, quality and road dynamics of the new-gen cars - the style outside and 4GLTE OnStar are just icing on the cake.
2014 Buick Lacrosse AWD
2014 Buick Regal GS AWD
For Release: Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 8 a.m. EDT
Buick, OnStar Usher in New Era of Road Trips
4G LTE adds convenience, connectivity to modern family travel
DETROIT – Paper maps, disposable cameras and a stockpile of car toys once were essential for any family road trip. Today, according to a 2014 Expedia.com report, only 22 percent of Americans still use printed maps, relying instead on technology for directions, entertainment and more.
The 2015 Buick LaCrosse, with built-in OnStar 4G LTE, is leading the way in this evolution of the family road trip, providing advancements in connectivity and passenger comfort. OnStar 4G LTE allows passengers to connect up to seven mobile devices, such as tablets, laptops and smartphones, to the vehicle’s built-in Wi-Fi hotspot.
It works inside and around the vehicle, so everyone can stay connected at their favorite road trip stops. With the LaCrosse’s 4G LTE connection, families can plan their route from the road and upload photos and videos from the car. OnStar’s 4G LTE and Wi-Fi hardware are standard on the new LaCrosse. “Road trips today are greatly changed from the ones we took with our families 20, 10 or even five years ago,” said John McFarland, director, Global Connected Customer.
“Navigation alone makes choosing stops much easier, and now with built-in connectivity, travelers have an abundance of information and entertainment at their fingertips.” According to Strategy Analytics, 74 percent of tablets sold this year will be Wi-Fi only. Additionally, as many as 91 percent of all tablets used in North America, including those enabled for cellular connections, will be used as Wi-Fi only.
“Technology really has changed the way we travel today,” said David Lorenz, marketing manager, Pure Michigan. “Travelers are looking for easy access to information and they don’t necessarily just want that in advance of travel. Applications like OnStar and other technologies allow people to make quick, last-minute changes to their itinerary.” The LaCrosse also makes road trips more comfortable for travelers.
2014 Buick Lacrosse AWD
With ample legroom in the front and rear seats and dual-zone climate controls, travelers can keep their area of the vehicle personalized to fit their needs.
The Buick LaCrosse provides a full safety suite, including eight standard air bags and available features such as forward collision alert, lane departure warning, lane change alert, side blind zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert, following distance indicator, high-intensity discharge, or HID, headlamps with articulating headlamps, fog lamps, head-up display, collision preparation (with collision mitigation braking), full-speed-range adaptive cruise control and the safety alert seat. OnStar’s 4G LTE will be available on the LaCrosse, Buick Verano, Regal, and Encore for the 2015 model year and will be available on all Buick products for the 2016 model year.