[ad#post_ad]Our society has become inextricably connected to the Internet, and is becoming more so every day.
Up until recently, time spent riding in a passenger car has been for the most part a non-Internet experience. Though Internet-enabled cell phones do allow connectivity, larger devices such as laptops, unless they had their own cellular modems, couldn’t connect there. Now, however, both GM and Ford have announced new technology to turn their respective vehicles into rolling WiFi hotspots.
Earlier this month GM announced the availability of “Chevrolet Wi-Fi” by Autonet Mobile which will be an option on the following seven Chevy models: Equinox, Traverse, Silverado, Tahoe, Suburban, Avalanche, and Express.
The system is dealer-installed and connects to the wireless 3G network transmitting a WiFi signal both within and beyond the car. It is intended for use by passengers only, and the 1.5 mbps signal can be obtained for up to 150 feet around the car. The device costs $199 and the service is $29 per month.
Ford more recently announced its own system in which its vehicles’ on-board SYNC USB connector will be configured to accept a user’s wireless modem. The signal will be then be amplified and transmitted by in-vehicle hardware turning the car into a wireless hotspot. The user’s wireless modem and service would be purchased separately.
So if this technology is so great, wouldn’t it be great if the Volt offered it?
“No, the Volt will not have this capability,” says Volt spokesperson David Darovtiz.
Frankly, considering most wireless plans offer a free-standing hot spot creator that can be used anywhere (see graphic), one could therotecilly turn any car including the Volt into a hotspot, and of course it would work outside the car as well.
Is this vehicle technology useful or a gimmick? You be the judge.