Volvo's pulling a new trick for their upcoming cars: onboard streaming music. Available in all models starting May of 2014, the new Sensus system would outfit Volvos with an onboard antenna and 3G modem — and more importantly, a content deal with Pandora that would let drivers stream audio direct to their cars for the first time.
Previous Pandora integrations have relied on phone antennas, passing data to car speakers through Bluetooth, but Sensus can use its own antenna, leaving your data plan untouched. By contrast, Sensus will work as a Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing for passengers' mobile devices to piggyback on the car's connectivity, rather than the other way around. It's part of a larger trend at CES, as automakers rush to build connectivity directly into their cars, along with specific apps to make use of the newly available data. The Volvo program will also pull in data from Yelp and Wikipedia for the onboard navigation system, as well as a Baidu search application for the Chinese market.