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Posts Tagged ‘in-car wifi’

Automakers Joining Rush to Unlimited Data Plans

Approach expected to expand use of in-car tech, hot-spots.

by on Mar.23, 2017

Onboard WiFi hotspots can link to as many as eight different mobile devices in some cars.

Virtually every automaker now offers the ability to pair a smartphone with their vehicles’ infotainment systems. More and more are adding phone-based technologies like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as WiFi hotspots that can be used by numerous mobile devices simultaneously. Ford and VW, meanwhile, are now integrating Amazon’s cloud-based voice assistant, Alexa, into their vehicles.

The downside is that all these features can blow through a motorist’s data plan at a frenetic pace, quickly adding unexpected charges to the monthly bill. The four major service providers have been addressing the data drain for smartphone users by introducing new, unlimited data plans. Now, they’re looking to do the same thing for those who subscribe to vehicle data plans.

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Jaguar Land Rover today announced it will offer unlimited data on vehicles using its InControl WiFi system for $20 a month. The prepaid plan retains AT&T as the provider for data services to its vehicles. InControl is offered as a standard feature on some JLR models, and as an option on others.


Automakers Adding High-Tech Features Consumers Often Do Not Want

Millennials prove surprisingly tech-resistant.

by on Aug.26, 2015

Even Millennials seem to find little appeal in such high-tech features such as the new Apple CarPlay.

Virtually every Chevy that will roll off the assembly line next year will feature a built-in 4G LTE connectivity that can provide anyone in the car access to a mobile WiFi hotspot. General Motors’ OnStar unit, meanwhile, offers many of its customers access to a mobile concierge service – as do a number of competitors.

But a surprising number of owners don’t bother to use either of those features – which are among the most underutilized among a raft of high technology features and services automakers are building into their latest vehicles, according to a new study by J.D. Power and Associates.

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The 2015 Drive Report finds that 20% of recent new car buyers have not yet used half of the high-tech additions to their vehicles during the first three months of ownership.

But what may be the biggest surprise in the Drive Report is that supposedly tech-centric Millennials are proving particularly slow to embrace all the new features supposedly designed to attract them to today’s newest, highest-tech vehicles.


GM Will Offer 4G Broadband in Most Vehicles Starting in 2014

Connected cars will offer infotainment, safety advantages.

by on Feb.25, 2013

GM will become the latest - and largest -- maker to offer broadband access in "most" of its vehicles.

General Motors will partner with AT&T to offer embedded 4G Internet access in “most” of the vehicles it sells in the U.S. and Canada starting next year, the maker announced during a mobile communications conference in Spain this morning.

An early leader in so-called “connected car” services with its OnStar system, GM sees a number of advantages in tapping into AT&T’s 4G LTE wireless service, promising it will expand the range of infotainment options motorists will have while also providing the potential to use the broadband service to improve vehicle safety.

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Among other things, passengers will be able to tap into a WiFi hot spot that can handle up to eight different cellphones, table and laptop computers and other devices.

“In addition to allowing consumers to bring in and connect to personal mobile devices, the vehicle will also act as its own mobile device, enabling embedded vehicle capabilities,” said Mary Chan, president, Global Connected Consumer, General Motors.


Wireless ‘Hotspots’ – From Cafes to Cars

Internet access inside cars opens up more than a browser.

by on Aug.04, 2009

From cafes to cars, Internet access is becoming ubiquitous, and with it, your kids may soon start asking, "Already?" rather than, "Are we there yet."

From cafes to cars, Internet access is becoming ubiquitous, and with it, your kids may soon start asking, "Already?" rather than, "Are we there yet."

We like to think of ourselves as a “mobile” society.  A new generation of wireless technology will make that term more appropriate than ever.

Autonet Mobile markets an electronic device that resembles the wireless router you may have in your home, and it does pretty much the same thing, providing access to the Internet for nearby computers, game controllers, smart phones, and other connectable devices. The difference is that the Autonet device provides Internet access via cellular data networks for devices in a moving vehicle. That is a deceptively difficult feat, according to Autonet CEO Sterling Pratz, but an important one for automakers, dealers, suppliers, service providers, and car buyers, as well as for kids playing games or watching YouTube videos in the back seat, and for front seat passengers checking email or browsing Facebook.

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“The car is moving between cell towers while it’s uploading and downloading files, we’re accommodating all kinds of devices, and we’re doing it without requiring users to install any software,” Pratz explains. “It wasn’t enough just to build a router; we had to design an intelligent network specifically for moving vehicles – one capable of managing content as well as the connection and the devices, that didn’t interfere with the car’s electrical system, and didn’t require the driver to pull over to the side of the road and ‘reboot’ the connection.”