Two trends are driving the trend of the connected car. First, with most devices around us becoming competent, the evolution of infotainment in cars dictates internet connection to fully take advantage of advanced applications. Second, autonomous driving and advanced security features also use the internet for their functionality. We still need to wait for high-speed and low-latency 5G networks to fully take advantage of connected autonomous cars, but we already have models with constant internet connections.
How Do Cars Get Internet?
Mobile networks and technologies are driving connected cars, and there are two basic principles. The first is embedded modem and network card, more common for premium vehicles with subscription services like the Volkswagen Car-Net system. Embedded solution means users don’t have to worry about setting up connections, and the car already has built-in hardware and a GSM card that usually allows 4G connectivity.
Playing Games while Commuting
Such a system allows passengers to connect on its Wi-Fi and use infotainment options, meaning you can stream YouTube shows, listen to Spotify playlists, or play games. Of course, the driver will still have to focus on the road, but his passengers can enjoy online games like Brawl Stars, Call of Duty Mobile.
HTML5 web browser games are also on the table, so users who dab into occasional igaming can play online slots. This possibility got confirmed by a gadget experiment done in a YouTube video, where a hostess tried to play an online slot machine on a Tesla Model 3, and guess what – it worked flawlessly. Either way, because of a good embedded internet connection, or the raw horsepower of the Tesla Model 3, we can undoubtedly say that other online casino games would work. Just don’t use an older Tesla Model S, as it lacks the computing power.
The other option for the connected car is tethered connectivity that gets its data traffic from mobile phones. Other than the source, other options are more or less the same.
Tesla Premium Connectivity
Tesla was a pioneer of connected cars due to its advanced security and autonomous driving features. The company started its Premium Connectivity program as free-of-charge with all models but has since segmented the offering on different models and introduced a $9.99 subscription model. Tesla gets its connectivity via the LTE modem. In the US, Tesla runs on AT&T and through various other carriers in Canada and Europe. In addition, you can get features like internet browser, video streaming, life traffic visualization, satellite view maps and others.
German manufacturer offers Car-Net in most of its premium cars like Passat, Jetta, Tiguan, Golf, Beetle, e-Golf and a few others. Car-Net system has a Wi-Fi hotspot for users and one month of trial with 1GB of data. The tech behind its connectivity is a 4G modem, and the subscription is around $20 monthly. You can get features like remote start/stop, lock or light flash. In addition, the car has automated health reports and service notifications. Moreover, the vehicle can collect driver behaviour with personalized tips on how to improve.
Audi has its connect feature in all new models with SIM cards pre-installed in most vehicles. To activate the connected elements, users must first download the myAudi app. LTE SIM card is behind all the Audi services divided into tiers from Connect are to Connect Plus. Some notable features include a Wi-Fi hotspot, Online radio, natural voice recognition, traffic information, remote lock, and vehicle status report.
Most manufacturers have an iteration of a connected environment. For example, Ford has FordPass Connect, Hyundai Bluelink Connectivity, Toyota Wi-Fi connect, and Nissan has NissanConnect. Features are similar between vendors, and in upcoming models, we could expect an upgrade from 4G LTE to 5G modems that will open up a whole new world of opportunities.