Car manufacturers have been engaged in horsepower wars for years, prompting some of us to brag endlessly about how quick and fast their cars are.
Soon, they’re going to start bragging about a new dimension of speed and power—wireless connectivity. A growing number of cars are now coming equipped with Wi-Fi hotspots.
Connectivity is important because it serves as a link to all-important In-Vehicle-Infotainment (IVI)—a market that is expected to exceed $70 billion in 2012 and $80 billion in 2014, according to Accenture.
Peiker has teamed with BMW and Qualcomm to develop an LTE module specifically for the automotive industry. Equipped with this module, a car's “top speed” approaches 100 megabits per second. Moreover, the module is less susceptible to faults than conventional modules, such as strain from high temperatures and vibrations.
BMW is the first to use the module and has its own device—an Original BMW Accessory—called the "BMW Car Hotspot LTE." Peiker plans to sell the product worldwide, which should appeal to the aftermarket.
In related news, Audi announced this week at the Consumer Electronics Show said that its 2013 Audi A3 will be offered with built-in Qualcomm 4G LTE. Through the enhanced “Audi connect” interface, owners will experience an enhanced driving experience with in-car Wi-Fi, internet radio, web services and an augmented navigation system that presents street level visual imagery streamed to the vehicle. Audi is expected to be first to market with built-in 4G connectivity in its cars.
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