Here’s How WiFi Hotspots Work in Cars
With infotainment systems, out-of-this-world technology, and endless options for connectivity, the future of driving is here. More and more automakers are providing car owners with modern, updated technology. Now, cars can access the internet and even become a WiFi hotspot. But how do they do it?
Different types of WiFi hotspots and how they work
According to Technology Guide, each automaker’s method for WiFi connectivity differs slightly. Here are a few ways your car can become a WiFi hotspot, and how it’s accomplished:
Mobile hotspot devices
The simplest and easiest way to create a WiFi hotspot in your car is to use a router or modem device. Introduced a few years ago, mobile hotspot devices are simply set up in your vehicle so you can take the internet with you. These typically require a subscription service or monthly fee, just like the internet at home would. In addition, many smartphones are capable of tethering a WiFi connection and turning into a mobile hotspot.
In-car WiFi-enabling systems
Many automakers are turning to in-car solutions, which makes using the tech easier than ever for passengers. With in-car telematics systems, the user can pair the internet connection from a smartphone directly to the infotainment system. The car’s WiFi simply piggybacks off the data you’re already using on your phone. It uses this connection to create a hotspot you can use throughout the car.
Much like the internet connection from your smartphone, cars that use 4G LTE connectivity have their own technology to provide the tethering capabilities. According to Web2Carz, a car will use its infotainment system to establish a connection to the internet. Once that connection is established, you can pair devices to it without disturbing the infotainment system’s internet usage. This service typically requires a subscription to a cellular network and offer higher speeds than the other options.
The biggest automakers in WiFi connectivity
According to Autotrader, a variety of automakers are focusing on digital advancements. This number will continue to grow, as technology becomes one of the most important deciding factors in buying a new car. Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge offer the Uconnect system, which turns its new vehicles into mobile hotspots within a 150-foot range.
General Motors makes use of its OnStar system to provide 4G LTE connectivity in most of their Buick, GMC, Cadillac, and Chevrolet brands. The OnStar 4G LTE connection can power up to eight devices at once and control enhanced safety features.
Audi is known for its advanced infotainment system, which offers lightning-fast WiFi and connectivity options for any device. Ford has been working on its technology systems for years. The automaker created SYNC, alongside MyFord Touch, to turn your smartphone into a mobile hotspot any time you need it.
With WiFi access, you can use smartphones, tablets, and laptops. A hotspot can keep passengers entertained with social media, music, and videos. WiFi access also provides better reception for the technology you already have.