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Wi-Fi in your car? Coming to GM in 2014.

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Jeff Kowalsky/Reuters/File

(Read caption) The General Motors logo is seen outside its headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Mich. GM has said that wi-fi features be available on all four of its product lines starting in 2014, Read writes.

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If you work with Ray LaHood, you might want to stay out of his way this morning -- not because he lost any Oscar bets (though he might've, we don't know), but because General Motors has announced a deal with AT&T that will bring mobile internet service to millions of GM vehicles next year, if not sooner. 

Why would LaHood have a problem with that? While the deal should result in improved safety features on GM cars, trucks, and SUVs, it could also spawn more distractions for drivers -- exactly the sort of thing against which LaHood has crusaded since the day he was installed as U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

GM's agreement with AT&T does two things:

1. It provides 4G LTE access for GM vehicles. 4G LTE is the zippiest version of wireless broadband to date, and what AT&T plans to do is a little like installing a mini cell phone receiver in every GM car.

2. AT&T will also power in-car wi-fi hotspots -- the kind GM has been providing as an option since 2009.  

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU

Neither GM nor AT&T has provided specifics about the deal just yet, though GM is planning to do so this week in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress. However, a press release from GM gives us a rough idea of how the technology will work.

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Though GM hasn't announced pricing for these services, the automaker has said that they'll be available on all four of its product lines -- Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC -- beginning in 2014. In fact, our colleagues at Motor Authority report that they should be available on Cadillac vehicles later this year. Stay tuned.

 

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