The Great American Road Trip isn't the same as it used to be, but perhaps that's not entirely a bad thing. With mobile connectivity becoming an asset that few professionals can live without, let alone the average teenager, General Motors has seen strong early interest from consumers in having LTE embedded into their next vehicle. While a number of automakers
have decided that no car should ever be without a data connection, the actual market rollout has been sluggish. Companies are taking their time and making sure that the execution is ideal, and of course, with each additional day the infrastructure that makes it all possible becomes even stronger.
In trials, GM has found that a whopping 98% of its customers have opted in to the four-week free trial when purchasing a new LTE-enabled automobile over the past month. The radio is an AT&T model, and according to the company's president of global connected consumer business Mary Chan, it's a "scary high acceptance rate."
Of course, free trials are usually setup on the dealer lot, and as we've seen with SiriusXM subscriptions, most folks aren't afraid of the free trial. The real sign will be in the amount of consumers who hang on after the trial ends. One has to wonder if we aren't reaching subscription fatigue, and the idea of yet another mobile add-on may be too much for some. It'd make sense to just use your smartphone to tether to a Wi-Fi extender in the vehicle, but that's not an option.
For those who continue, they'll have to pay $10 for 200MB of data, which is extremely pricey -- particularly if you have kids in the rear who want to stream Netflix for hours on end. It's much cheaper (and more flexible) to just purchase a mobile hotspot and have that active in the car, but of course, that's more work and a less elegant solution.
Either way, we're happy to see the information superhighway finally coming to the highway, and it's great that consumers are embracing the new world.