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Hotspot of a ride - GM to equip cars with Internet connectivity

Published:Sunday | October 19, 2014 | 12:00 AM
An Android employee gives a demonstration of Android Auto during Google I/O 2014 in San Francisco,
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Motor vehicle technology is continuing along a dynamic path of evolution with mobile Internet connectivity now added to the list of revolutionary technological ideas.

By the end of 2014, more than 30 General Motors (GM) models are expected to be equipped with 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) hotspots. The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu will be the first 4G LTE-equipped vehicle, along with other Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac models.

This innovative set-up will allow the vehicles to provide a connection for up to seven devices at once. The LTE is expected to give a strong signal up to 50 feet away from the vehicle. This means that, for example, motorists will never miss another movie or TV show on Netflix once they've stepped out of the car.

GM's idea appears to be a cut above the rest,
because their offering provides direct connection to the Internet,
unlike other in-car connectivity technology that still relies on
individual cell phone connections.

Business
opportunities

The new GM in-car Wi-Fi hotspot appears
to be a good way to keep children in the vehicle entertained. However,
it also opens business opportunities, as persons who travel often or
work remotely will benefit from having fast Internet available from
their vehicle.

Audi will also roll out their version
of an LTE-equipped vehicle. Passengers will be able to connect their
mobile devices to the integrated Wi-Fi hotspots inside the car, which
goes a step further than GM by connecting up to eight devices
simultaneously. Each passenger will therefore be able to surf the Web
independently and purse their own interests.

The
company's objective is to make access to the LTE standard by 2015. After
premiering the technology in the 2015 Audi S3 Sportback, the German car
makers intend to gradually roll out the feature in other
models.

- Chad Bryan