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Networking Transportation Wireless Networking

Audi A8 Gets Factory Integrated Mobile Hotspot 126

Posted by samzenpus
from the drive-and-surf dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Audi's A8 luxury sedan will be the first vehicle with a factory integrated mobile hotspot when it ships this fall with an adapter capable of connecting up to eight devices via WiFi or Bluetooth. Audi integrates a WLAN module and antenna on the roof, using technology from chip-maker Marvell and Harman Automotive. The company says its WiFi software architecture is optimized for extremely low power consumption on battery-powered consumer electronics, enabling passengers to connect to the vehicle's network without affecting the battery life of their connected devices. The Audi system, called the Marvell Mobile Hotspot, will support any combination of smartphones, tablets, laptops, digital cameras, and gaming devices."
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Audi A8 Gets Factory Integrated Mobile Hotspot

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  • by h7 (1855514) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @07:11AM (#33226756)

    Is a mobile hotspot some great unheard of technology? Even a cheap mobile phone or laptop can set up a hotspot. They just took the hardware and put it in a car instead of somewhere else.

  • by 2gravey (959785) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @07:28AM (#33226860)
    Doesn't every major auto maker offer mobile hot spots on 2010 models? What is so different about this?
  • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @07:32AM (#33226888) Homepage Journal

    Several cellular companies, including (but not limited to) Sprint and T-Mobile, are offering all-you-can-eat wireless data for pretty affordable flat-rate prices these days. After all, they gotta do something to lure customers away from AT&T.

  • by fridaynightsmoke (1589903) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @07:38AM (#33226934) Homepage

    I don't think the kind of people that buy an Audi R8 .....

    Audi A8 != R8. The R8 is a sports car. The A8 is a large saloon/sedan.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 12, 2010 @08:03AM (#33227146)

    The audi A8 is just a little less expensive than the R8.

    It is anyway a luxury car. And the average A8 customer is going to buy it full optional and loves this kind of toys in his car. That average customer is also not having monetary problems and, as someone stated earlier, often has a driver.

    Also most european governament leaders, big politicians and also many clerical high autorities do ride in audi A8s and have a driver.

    It's definitely a car for people who have money to spare, no less than the R8.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 12, 2010 @08:08AM (#33227180)

    Er, did you forget about the Subaru outback which will also have this?

    http://www.zercustoms.com/news/2011-Subaru-Outback-Mobile-WiFi.html

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 12, 2010 @08:20AM (#33227274)

    Actually a WLAN Hotspot is already an option (~300 EUR) in Citroen cars, at least in Germany.

  • by ccham (162985) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @08:33AM (#33227382)

    Great that the A8 has finally met the luxury of a truck.

  • Re:Tethering (Score:3, Informative)

    by petermgreen (876956) <plugwash.p10link@net> on Thursday August 12, 2010 @08:36AM (#33227410) Homepage

    Still paying exorbitant data rates for cellular to actually access the Internet.
    I dunno what it's like in the US but here you can get some "mobile broadband" plans that are farily reasonable as long as you stay within your allowance (the overage rates are indeed exorbitant).

    since I'm fairly sure that most of the people who would want mobile access on their laptop already have either a cellular stick for the laptop, or have already tethered their laptop to their cell phone....
    I see several advantages to having car mounted gear

    1: it can probablly use higher transmit power without battery life fears (regulations will limit this but I think the regulatory limits are higher than what a typical mobile phone will use)
    2: it can make use of an antenna with some gain. Mobile phones and mobile broadband sticks may be operated in any orientation so they can't really make use of antenna gain. Cars are nearly always operated upright.
    3: A car mounted antenna can be outside of the car while a device mounted antenna will be inside the car.

    The combination of these factors will mean it can probablly get a usable data signal where a laptop in your car with a mobile broadband stick can't.

  • by phoebus1553 (522577) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @08:51AM (#33227540) Homepage

    Great that the A8 has finally met the luxury of a truck.

    I thought close to the same thing myself, since I was pretty sure there was a Dodge commercial about theirs years ago. According to TFA, this is the first as a 'factory' option. Chrysler's apparently is a dealer-install, and if you google for 'chevrolet hotspot' one of the first links is the original announcement that states theirs is a dealer accessory as well.

  • Re:Tethering (Score:4, Informative)

    by SydShamino (547793) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @09:10AM (#33227718)

    People with an Audi A8 are most likely to be driven around by a driver, while sitting in the back with their laptop

    No they aren't. It's a $76,000 (base price) car. I drive a $77,000 (base price; $95,000 as built) car, bought as second owner for $35,000, and I sure as hell couldn't afford someone to drive me around. http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2004/03/22/185936.html [theautochannel.com]

    For a car with a driver, you should be looking at the Rolls Royce Phantom or similar. Those start around $380,000.

  • Re:Tethering (Score:3, Informative)

    by Buelldozer (713671) <{cliff} {at} {gindulis.net}> on Thursday August 12, 2010 @09:41AM (#33228034)

    If you go to an online auto site, like autotrader.com, you'll find that a used 2005 Audi A8 Quattro can be had in the 28,000 to 30,000 dollar range. I see used '08s right now in the 45,000 to 50,000 dollar range.

    Just because someone is driving a German luxury sedan doesn't necessarily mean that they have money falling out of their pockets. Audi's are surprisingly inexpensive used.

  • by dwinks616 (1536791) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @12:30PM (#33230098) Homepage
    2.4GHz and 5GHz signals simply don't interact much with flesh. The signal strength is far too low to do anything other than nearly immeasurably heat the dead layer of skin in your epidermis. It's scientific fact that wifi and cellular signals have no measurable effect on human tissues. They don't put out "radiation" in the sense of an x-ray or gamma. It's non-ionizing radiation and anyone claiming it gives them a headache is just imagining things.

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