Nissan and AT&T are connecting more cars, new or old

The New York Auto Show wraps up this weekend, where using technology to keep cars (and the people in them) both safer and more connected is receiving much of the attention. The 2016 Nissan Maxima is launching with new SiriusXM-powered NissanConnect Services that link your car to the network by satellite, paired cellphone or its built-in cellphone connection. In 2013 Nissan announced it's working with AT&T on the package, and AT&T is independently launching a new Car Connection 2.0 plug-in that will put some similar features into anyone's car. It's the same link that keeps Tesla's Model S connected to the cloud and downloading performance-enhancing OTA updates, but now it's coming to more vehicles. Read on to find out exactly what's included, plus a drones-eye view of the NYIAS floor.

Nissan has some connected features in its cars now with Google Search as well as Traffic and other info pushed by Sirius, but the new Services platform will add a bit more to top-of-the-line Platinum model Maximas when they ship later this year. At its base level, it includes an Automatic Collision Notification and Stolen Vehicle Locator, as well as messaging and maintenance reminders. Stepping up to the Premium package gives you remote control over the vehicle to start the engine or lock/unlock the doors, as well as set up geofenced alerts to keep track of a joyriding valet or teenager. The final step is Premium Plus, which adds concierge services for search and trip planning, full OnStar-style.

It's a far sight from the CarWings features Nissan introduced a decade ago, although we're still waiting for delivery of that Nismo Watch concept on either Apple or Android's wearable platforms. Autoblog has specs for the 2016 Maxima, with a $32k starting price, 300 hp engine, "performance oriented" continuously variable transmission plus driving features like Forward Emergency Braking and Adaptive Cruise Control. There's no word on how much the upgrades will cost, but if you're not in the market for a Maxima, NissanConnect Services will be on four other (yet-to-be-named) models this year.

If you're interested in the features, but aren't buying a new car, AT&T is about to roll out the Car Connection 2.0, a new app front end to a device already sold by Audiovox as the Car Connection Elite. Just like the Verizon Vehicle package that launched in January, it includes the device that clips into your car's ODB-II diagnostics port under the dash (if your vehicle was built after 1996 it has one) then phones home over 3G for location and maintenance info.

It can locate your car whether it's lost in a parking lot or stolen, call in roadside assistance and yes -- collect data to send to the insurance company, if the owner wants to do that in exchange for lower rates. While Verizon is pushing its hardware for free with a $15 per month service package, AT&T's going rate is $10 per month after charging $99 for the hardware.