Audi, GM, Chrysler and Ford Lead the Way with WiFi
For all those times when you can’t get on line, or when you’re traveling and a little Netflix is just what the kids are clamoring for, several automakers have just the ticket: they’re ready to provide in-car WiFi hotspot.
OK, so many of us have WiFi/3g/4g signals coming out of our ears; why would we want to equip the car with WiFi?
And, do we really need more distractions while driving? But if you think it through, even more seamless access to phones, text and media makes sense.
If you are driving in a remote area, without cellphone coverage, a WiFi hot spot can mean the difference between being able to make a call and being stranded.
And if your kids are doing homework in the back seat? Well, in the dream world where they are bored with games or movies in the car, and in reality when they needed to access the homework portal on their school’s website, having WiFi would make downloading homework faster. In fact, on a recent trip upstate, my high school age daughter was reduced to tears when our B & B didn’t have fast enough WiFi for her to download her homework. We felt guilty that we had taken her away for the weekend.
But WiFi isn’t just for the passengers; your can can benefit, too. Soon cars with WiFi can have their systems, especially features like navigation, app suites and other media, update when the car is on and ready to receive data.
The WiFi hot spots require a subscription fee on top of a cellphone bill, though you my be able to get a better deal if the company providing the WiFi service is the same as your cellphone company. GM has partnered with AT & T, while Chrysler partnered with Sprint. Chrysler’s Uconnect has subscription fees that run from a $9.99 daily charge to $34.99 a month.
And if your kids spend a lot of time in the car, you might even save money with a monthly subscription for the car instead of data plans for their iPads or tablets.