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.

Source: Audi

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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  (544) posted on 05.26.2010

Well, I guess they’ve used the same technology like what they used in the mobile internet phone.

  (331) posted on 05.25.2010

This is a good choice for businessman that needs to get online while on the road.

  (815) posted on 05.24.2010

Well, that’s how luxurious the audi A8 is.

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