Cars That Double as Wi-Fi Hotspots
People are used to being online all the time, whether at home or at work. The rare exception is when we get into our cars. Sure, you can pull out a smartphone to check your e-mail or Facebook (FB), but what if you want to get some work done on your laptop or browse the Web on a larger tablet?
Edmunds.com's Montoya says that "the 2013 Ram 1500 with Uconnect Access has a solution that is catching on with other automakers."
Uconnect Access is a $505 upgrade -- more if you want navigation-- to the Ram 1500's infotainment system. Although the value of complete infotainment systems are debated, these add-ons do undeniably add an element of convenience for users with the addition of a 3G cellular modem running on the Sprint (S) network, which provides a Wi-Fi hotspot for multiple devices up to 150 feet away.
Chrysler has confirmed that Uconnect Access will be available on the high-performance 2013 SRT Viper and the more affordable 2014 Jeep Cherokee. Data prices range from $9.99 a day to $34.99 per month, according to Montoya.
The 2013 Audi A6, A7 and A8 also offer 3G Wi-Fi hotspots, albeit at a much higher cost for the car, according to the Edmunds.com analyst. Data prices for Audi connect range from $15 per month on a 30-month contract, to $30 per month without a contract.
By 2015, General Motors (GM) plans to equip most of its models with a 4G LTE modem that will also provide even faster WiFi hotspots, says Montoya.