Over two dozen school districts across the country have equipped school buses with AutoNet mobile WiFi routers allowing students to access the 'Net on the go. The Autonet system is a basic wireless router like the ones that hundreds of millions of people use at home, but with an integrated EVDO cellular modem to keep connected on the go.
Everywhere connectivity is even closer with the announcement that GM will be offering dealer-installed Autonet routers in its SUV and truck offerings. Chrysler was the first to put Autonet in cars a year ago, and Volkswagen signed up in August of this year, putting the mobile router docking station in its Routan. The Autonet kit is available this month for installs in the GMC, Chevrolet, Buick, and Cadillac lineups, or you can order it on GM's accessories site.
Perhaps as part of a thoughtful move to combine two of the major aspects of the Autoblog lifestyle, Cadillac has just announced that it will offer full WiFi access in its CTS sport sedan beginning next month.
One of the highlights of the recent Audi Mileage Marathon for participating journalists was the in-car internet connectivity. The Q7s and other vehicles used in the marathon were equipped with a Cradlepoint mobile WiFi router and USB wireless broadband adapter. We were able to open up our laptops (when we were in the passenger seat, of course!) and connect to the net to write our stories while on the go.
A man who purchased Chrysler's uConnect in-car wi-fi recently gave his impressions... and he wasn't exactly impressed. His three main issues were: it's slow, there are no instructions for encryption, and you're limited to 1 GB for downloads.
For those of you confined to a movable cubicle, having a wireless internet connection within your mobile office would be a Godsend. Autonet has recognized this need and developed, what the company maintains is, the first in-car ISP, allowing any wireless devices within your vehicle to be hooked up the World Wide Web. The unit will set you back $399 and a monthly fee of $50 will hook you up with Verizon's EV-DO network. Initially, the product will be launched in the spring of 2007 in AVIS rental