How Companies Like Samsung and AT&T Are Planning to Invade Your Vehicle

Vehicles are evolving into intelligent devices. Here's the latest scoop on the development of connected cars.

Jan 11, 2014 at 10:59AM

They're calling it the connected car -- and it's already here. It's the intersection of vehicle and Internet. From wireless Internet in your car to "over-the-air" updates that can even provide instant upgrades to the physical capabilities of your car, the connected car concept will change what we know about vehicles. With the help of AT&T (NYSE:T), a few auto manufacturers like Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), Audi, and General Motors (NYSE:GM) are already on board with the technology. Where's it headed?

AT&T dives in
Among wireless Internet providers, AT&T is the most invested in the future of the connected car. AT&T's head of emerging devices, Glenn Lurie, asserts that bringing the Internet to the vehicle will help it transition from a mindless machine into an intelligent gadget, according to CNNMoney. In the article Lurie says, "The car is really just going to become another device in your life [...] Our view at AT&T is that everything is going to be connected [...] making the car easier to use, safer, reduce distracted driving and deliver infotainment."

Tmf Display

Tesla's Model S 17" touchscreen display with access to high speed Internet.

This comment follows two consecutive announcements from AT&T this week that the company will provide high-speed wireless Internet connectivity for the new Audi A3 family in the U.S. and current and future Tesla vehicles in North America.

General Motors announced in early 2013 that it would be embedding LTE chips in millions of its future vehicles to connect to AT&T's 4G network. After providing more details at the beginning of this year, GM is now saying that the rollout will begin this summer with its new 2015 Corvette, Malibu, Volt, and Impala, according to GigaOm. 

The possibilities
What are the perks of Internet-powered vehicles? The AT&T-Audi press release boasts wireless hotspots, picture navigation, social media, mobile app integration, and over 7,000 Internet radio stations. Tesla's arrangement provides "remote engine diagnostics, telematics, and industry-leading infotainment features such as Internet radio, Web browsing, live traffic, weather and navigation, all accessed through the 17-inch touchscreen."

There are many benefits of a connected car, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk said it best: "[It] will help Tesla continue to deliver a cutting-edge ownership experience." A connected car will ultimately change many facets of the vehicle experience.

But we're just scratching the surface. Car manufacturers and tech companies are finding new ways to work together. It was evident at the Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas, which a record nine auto manufacturers attended, according to Automotive News. Even more, Samsung, who plans to use its technologies in vehicles, showed considerable interest in the growing connection between the Internet and vehicles at CES. Automotive News reported that Samsung plans to "parlay" its smartphone technology into automotive navigation and entertainment systems.

Arguably ahead of its peers in the connected car ownership experience, Tesla has gone as far as providing physical improvements to its Model S with its over-the-air updates. Examples include a lift to the suspension at highway speeds and automatic detection of unexpected fluctuations in the input power to the vehicle triggering the Model S charging system to reduce the charging current.

What's next?
Probably mass adoption of Internet in vehicles. GM, Tesla, and Audi are simply a taste of what's to come. The chance that the "Internet of things" will likely have at least some effect on your next new vehicle purchase is pretty good.

What will the connected car look like? Hop in a Tesla Model S for a test drive, and you'll get an idea.

What can investors do with this information? Acknowledge the inevitable shift to connected cars, and keep an eye on the development to see if it affects any of your holdings or reveals new investment opportunities.

A proven strategy for picking winning growth stocks
They said it couldn't be done. But David Gardner has proved them wrong time, and time, and time again with stock returns like 926%, 2,239%, and 4,371%. In fact, just recently one of his favorite stocks became a 100-bagger. And he's ready to do it again. You can uncover his scientific approach to crushing the market and his six carefully chosen picks for ultimate growth instantly, because he's making this premium report free for you today. Click here now for access.

Fool contributor Daniel Sparks owns shares of Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool recommends General Motors and Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information

Compare Brokers