The next big thing in automotive technology is WiFi hotspots.
In car technology and communication has come so far in the past 20 years that it would be incomprehensible to a plug-in mobile bag-phone user in 1994. Revolutions in navigation, audio and downloadable apps have changed the way we spend time in our automobiles.
And now we are on the cusp of the next big automotive technology advancement: in-car WiFi. For a while now cars have been capable of becoming WiFi hotspots as long as there was an existing signal from a mobile device to piggy-back off of.
See Also: What is In-Car Internet?
But now cars can become mobile WiFi hotspots in their own right. Simply sign up for a data plan, install a SIM card and BAM, mobile internet ready to power anything from phones to tablets to laptops. This all sounds great for passengers and rear seat business workers who need to be connect at all times.
The question remains though, is it any good? To find out I borrowed a 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe with GM’s Onstar 4GLTE loaded up and ready to rock. My goal was to test the car in a variety of situations to see if car-based WiFi is a novelty or robust enough for real use. Follow the adventure by revisiting this post several times today as it will constantly be updated with results and my findings.
SEE ALSO: 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe Review
After a week with the ATS Coupe and 4GLTE WiFi, I came to two conclusions. First, in car WiFi works and the system is fast. The amount of possibilities for websites and programs that could be run off of the car’s infotainment system are endless and the ability to create a WiFi hotspot for passengers is great. I foresee this being offered in virtually every car within the next 5-10 years, as long as it’s a quick and reliable as the system used by Cadillac.
My other conclusion has to with the vast amounts of technology we are stuffing into cars today. Automobiles have become rolling supercomputers as much as they are mechanical devices. And like virtually every advanced, software driven piece of equipment out there, every once and a while the system has a glitch. This is by no means a Cadillac specific issue either; I’ve had system issues with several other manufactures as well, such as Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and Mazda to name a few.
As we continue to push the technological envelope for automobiles and make them smarter and more advanced, we’re just going to have to live with the odd glitch and/or firmware/software update just like we do with every other piece of advanced technology.
- Engine: 3.6 L V6, 321 HP, 275 lb-ft.
- Transmission: Six-speed automatic
- Fuel economy (US): 19 MPG city, 28 MPG Hwy, 20.8 MPG observed average
- Fuel economy (CDN): 12.8 L/100 km city, 8.4 L/100 km Hwy, 11.3 L/100 km observed average
- Price (US): Base ATS Coupe begins at $38,990 after destination charges,
- Price (CDN): Base ATS Coupe begins at $43,140 after destination charges, $57,945 as tested.
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