AT&T is joining the connected car fray with AT&T Drive. Announced today at CES, it gives automakers a global data platform for things like voice-controlled apps and in-car entertainment, similar to plans by Google and Apple.
The Drive platform gives automakers and in-car electronics companies a modular, global system for cloud-based in-car apps. Among the companies on board are iHeart Radio and Voicebox, the latter of which is developing natural language voice control for in-car apps. Other early partners include GM/Onstar, Ericsson and Glympse. In fact, it sounds like GM is going all-in.
Along with the platform, AT&T is opening Drive Studio, a monster garage in Atlanta where connected car experts will fine tune offerings to keep drivers just entertained enough without crossing over into full-on distraction.
Between AT&T Drive, Google's Android based Open Automotive Alliance and others, the connected car sphere is heating up in 2014. AT&T's offering focuses on the connection more than the software, so we'll see if these ecosystems all end up playing nice together.