As of last week, potentially millions of vehicle owners lost a host of subscription-based safety features, including automatic collision notifications and emergency call assistance, as AT&T's 3G network went dark. Other wireless networks plan to terminate 3G connectivity by the end of the year.
The auto industry knew the 3G sunset was coming, but the approaches varied by vehicle brand. Most automakers offered full or partial solutions to affected customers. But others, including Nissan, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota, are letting their customers' connectivity expire without a backup plan.
The network shutdown spotlights the importance of keeping pace with technology as vehicles become more like smartphones and as automakers begin to count connected services as significant revenue streams.