The concept of the in-vehicle Wi-Fi network has been examined as an infotainment option by both the vehicle manufacturers and the aftermarket infotainment scene, with system like Chrysler’s AutoNET being used as examples of this application.
But BMW have put up an LTE 4G MiFi router as an accessory for their newer vehicles that are sold in Europe. Here, this unit docks in to the centre console of the vehicle and uses direct connection to the vehicle’s power supply and aerial. The aerial is used for the LTE signals so as to provide that improved performance.
As I have always said, this could yield a lot for the connected vehicle. For example, the fact that devices like the Chrysler AutoNET and the BMW router integrating with the vehicle could allow for access to Internet resources by the infotainment system. This could lead to always-updated maps or business directories accessible through the navigation function or access to podcasts and Internet radio from the car audio system.
A question that still needs to be raised as far as in-vehicle Internet is concerned is interlinking with the home network when the vehicle is at home or in the scope of a trusted network like a friend’s or workplace’s network. This could lead to thinks like syncing or sharing of media between the vehicle (equipped with a hard drive) and these networks or large-scale map or feature updates occurring overnight at a cheaper service cost via the home network.