The Consumer Electronics Show is underway this morning and already the automotive-technology announcements are pouring out, the latest: AT&T announced it will provide wireless broadband for BMW vehicles to enhance the luxury carmaker's safety and infotainment offerings.
The technology itself isn't brand-new to BMW or the car world--ConnectedDrive, BMW's on-the-move mobile data access system, has been around in Europe for a few years now. Ford, Lexus, and Mercedes also offer similar web-connected in-car functionality. But what is new is the parternship with a major communications company for the broadband access.
Exactly what and how the existing BMW mobile platform will be enhanced hasn't been released yet, AT&T saying only, "Information on enhanced services will be made available at launch," in a press release.
The partnership between AT&T and BMW is part of AT&T's ongoing plans to increase wireless marketshare and penetration--though we have to wonder if going about it the same way domestic automakers do vehicle sales (fleet/corporate accounts) is the best way.
Also new for BMW at CES is an announcement from Nvidia, a top computer graphics chip producer, that it will supply BMW vehicles for its next-gen video and infotainment systems, enabling detailed 3D and other advanced or enhanced features. Again, more details will be released at the product announcement.