We’re pretty surprised that it has taken so long for an auto manufacturer to come out with a factory-installed WLAN hotspot inside a car. We figured with the way the Internet was going, somebody would have it done by now.
Well, just in time, Audi has finally taken to making the term ’mobile web surfing’ to where we’ve always wanted it to be: inside a car. The Ingolstadt-based car maker is giving their new Audi A8 luxury sedan an option of having a WLAN hotspot inside it, which can then be connected to up to eight mobile devices while the car is moving.
Users can activate the WLAN by just inserting a data-capable SIM card into the A8’s Bluetooth online car phone and they’re all set to go and enjoy connection speeds of up to 7.2 Mbit/s, which is pretty fast considering that this is a new in-car technology for Audi.
Press Release after the jump
Wireless surfing, accessing information, data and e-mails from company networks, and downloading the latest apps for the iPad - passengers in the front and rear can conveniently and securely use all of these features while traveling in the Audi A8, just as if they were in their own office. WPA2 encryption provides the necessary security for the transfer of data.
Using the WLAN hotspot is remarkably simple. To activate Internet access with speeds up to 7.2 Mbit/s, the driver merely needs to insert a data-capable SIM card into the Bluetooth online car phone. Alternatively, an Internet connection can be established via Bluetooth by using a compatible mobile phone with a SIM Access Profile. Any existing mobile phone contract can be used for this - often coupled with a flat-rate data plan.
Communication with the Internet takes place through the rooftop antenna of the Audi A8 via the car’s own UMTS module. This enables utmost connection stability with outstanding reception quality.