Tesla and AT&T have signed an agreement to enable current and future Tesla vehicles with high speed wireless connectivity in coming years.
On Thursday, the firms said that AT&T will power Tesla vehicles in North America to ensure high-speed wireless access for use with interactive vehicle dashboards.
Tesla, one of many automakers currently exploring the idea of the 'connected car,' has developed dashboards complete with engine diagnostics, telematics, and infotainment features such as Internet radio, Web browsing, live traffic, weather and navigation help.
Due to the expansion of mobile technology and Internet access, automakers including Tesla and Audi have begun investing in making their vehicles smarter. According to research firm Gartner, by 2016, the majority of average car buyers will expect at least basic Web-based information availability in their vehicles, and the majority of new vehicles sold will be Internet-connected by 2020.
In addition to the announcement, AT&T released the details of two other initiatives to drive in-car connectivity. The firm is opening a new center in Atlanta called the AT&T Drive Studio, which will focus on the research and development of car connectivity products and services.
The U.S. carrier is also launching AT&T Drive, a connected car platform built to entice automakers into using the company for connectivity within their vehicles. The platform allows car manufacturers to 'pick and choose' the features they want, including wireless connection, infotainment and data analytics.
Image credit: Tesla