To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

The future of in-car internet

Our Rating :


It’s also expensive. Audi for example charge A6 buyers £915 for the phone tethering set-up, and you have to bundle that with the satnav at a total cost of £1,500.

Another problem, as any passenger who has tried to use their smartphone on the move will tell you, the signal can be patchy and downloads slow. A solution might be found in the super-fast successor to 3G transmission technology, dubbed LTE. Audi has shown a prototype A8 limo with this tech on board, allowing drivers and passengers very fast transfer rates of about 100 Mbit per second. By contrast, a good 3G connection can only manage 14.4 Mbit per second. And it’s not far away either. As of the beginning of June, mobile connections using LTE had reached one million around the world.

Smart app

But in-car internet can be made even simpler and cheaper, by cutting out the car element altogether and providing a central dock for the smartphone. This is what Smart has done with its special iPhone cradle which also comes with a downable app with double-size screen buttons for easy and safe information viewing while on the move.

VW Bulli

As iPad takes off, soon the carmaker will be able to dump most dash functions altogether and fit a solitary dock for equipment that becomes the dashboard. Why develop expensive screen gadgets when Apple and its army of app creators can step in and sync with your car for a fraction of the price? Concept cars are pointing the way here, for example VW’s Bulli camper van revival, which came with a removeable iPad to control the music and on-line functions. Just don’t lose it.

Pages: 1 2 3

Read more