Is GM's Plan to Put the Internet in Cars Crazy?

General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) CEO Dan Akerson has a big plan to boost GM's profits: GM is going to include 4G wireless Internet capability in almost every new car starting next year, and then GM will use that connection to sell you services and even apps. It's an interesting idea -- but is it really a good one?

Motley Fool contributor John Rosevear sees one big problem with it. In this video, he explains the potential problem -- and wonders if rival Ford (NYSE: F  ) , which is taking a different approach, will benefit from GM's determination to go down this path.

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  • Report this Comment On July 26, 2013, at 8:09 PM, potcreek wrote:

    1) cars in general are already becoming personal computers and may in the near future be ordered for delivery like Dell PCs (See Telsa model).

    2) Onboard Wifi in the airline industry is almost expected today (see Aircell Gogo model).

    3) Upgrading wireless technology in cars is as easy as swapping air filters so obsolete technology is only a concern if you are not getting your monthly service fees/add-on revenues (see ATT Wireless model)... didn't Akerson create that model?

    4) One of the few companies capable of buying GM (for cash) is already the leader in mobile Apps and entertainment (See Apple Model). Can you say I-Car? Goodbye Dell.

    Get with the program and see the I-forest for the trees...please.

    And pray we don't take a direct hit from a solar flare.

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 12:52 AM, SmartSassyBBW wrote:

    I bought a 2000 Cadillac DTS in 2000 with analog Onstar. My friends were all in awe of it locking my doors. In 2007 Onstar stopped analog and went digital. My Onstar was obsolete but so was my a/c at 100,000 miles so I traded it in for another DTS, a 2005. It is now 2013 and when I took my car in for servicing and rented a teeny tiny Toyota it had all the built in tech gizmos my car doesn't have. My DTS is still in great shape and only has 75,000 miles on it but all of a sudden it feels not so hip. Waa!

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 6:14 AM, pafranson wrote:

    I don't see the value in having to buy a second data plan for the car.

    It will only be avaialble for the 10% or so of my waking hours that I'm in the car.

    I would have to learn 2 different sets of apps

    Even if the same apps were available for phone and car, I'd have to buy/download/maintain them twice.

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 8:26 AM, TMFMarlowe wrote:

    @pafranson: The idea is that the apps would be tailored to work in your car... think navigation and monitoring, that sort of thing.

    But to the larger point, I hear you.

    @SmartSassyBBW: I can totally relate. My 2006 Cadillac CTS-V also feels like ancient technology next to the new models. Things have moved very quickly in the last few years. I'm looking at replacing it with a 2011 model, and even that is a couple of steps behind the systems available in the new ATS and XTS.

    Thanks for watching.

    John Rosevear

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 9:12 AM, newopening wrote:

    I come from engineering background but I say I am not interested in staying connected all the time. While driving I want to focus on driving and sometimes I want to enjoy driving on scenic roads. I want my car to be reliable and mechanically very sound. I have an 14 year old Lexus with 100K miles on it, it runs very well and I plan to keep it till it goes to the ground. I have no interest in buying a car that will loose half it value in 3 years. The primary function of car is reliability, safety and driving quietly.

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