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Toyota, Lexus cars to have 4G LTE Wi-Fi powered by AT&T, KDDI

Toyota Motor Corp. teamed up with telecommunication companies AT&T Inc. and KDDI Corp. to enable 4G LTE connectivity for select new Toyota and Lexus cars and trucks, according to a Jan. 7 announcement.

The feature will start with 2020 model year vehicles in the fall of 2019 across the U.S., the Japanese carmaker said.

The partnership builds on Toyota and KDDI's joint global communications platform, established in 2016, to enable the operation of global communications networks to support car connectivity.

Under the latest partnership, cars will have Wi-Fi hotspots so car owners can stream, browse and share entertainment among multiple smartphones and tablets while on the road.

The connected services will allow users to remote start a car, or its heat or air conditioning remotely. The technology will also enable remote diagnostics to provide vehicle health information to customers and car dealers.

A "Destination Assist" feature will be developed to allow drivers to download vehicle destinations to navigation systems. The system will also have a "Safety Connect" tool that could connect drivers to a 24/7 response center in case of an emergency.

In addition, AT&T will offer unlimited data plans for eligible Toyota and Lexus vehicles.