Jeff Bennett & Joseph White:

Auto makers aim to make 2014 the year that cars connect to the Web in a big way, and they are stepping up their land rush with Silicon Valley to compete for customers who go online on the road.

General Motors Co. GM -0.50% and Audi AG NSU.XE -0.15% said they plan to use this week’s International Consumer Electronics Show here to roll out strategies for equipping cars with built-in 4G high-speed broadband—the mobile technology now common on smartphones and tablets.

Auto makers are flexing their muscle with high-end applications and cool features at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, suggesting they’re ready to compete with Silicon Valley for the customers who go online on the road. Joe White reports. Photo: Audi.

The car makers said these data pipelines will let them provide a variety of services, ranging from streaming video to remote troubleshooting of auto systems. GM, for example, plans to offer a Weather Channel app that drivers can see on in-dash screens, GM executives said.

Ford Motor Co. F +1.35% said last week it will add 3.4 million vehicles to the one million that already use its Ford Sync AppLink product, which lets drivers and passengers control smartphone apps using voice commands through onboard software and systems.