Up until recently, a car's passengers and driver were only able to enjoy wireless Internet if they happened to have available a device with a 3G / WiMax receiver and were well within the network coverage area. However, over the past year or so, things seem to have changed quite a lot, several companies announcing plans to offer in-car Internet at affordable pricing and little modifications brought to the vehicle
And one of the most interesting announcements of this type comes from the Volkswagen group, which, as Engadget
informs us, has just revealed the fact that its 2011 Audi A8 model will become the first car in the world to offer an optional factory-installed WLAN hotspot for wireless Internet access. The system will allow passengers in the front and rear to simultaneously access the Internet through the car's integrated WLAN module and via UMTS, using up to eight terminal devices such as laptops, Apple iPads or netbooks.
According to Audi's official statement on the matter, 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. Communication with the Internet takes place through the rooftop antenna of the Audi A8 via the car's own UMTS module.
Plus, we already know that Audi vehicles will pack NVIDIA Tegra technology
, which means they're about to become some of the most technologically-complex products out there (at least in terms of extra features). Unfortunately, that also makes them extremely expensive, but at least from a tech passionate's point of view, they're surely worth every penny (or euro-cent, whichever best suits you).
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