Where do they get the internet from in a moving car, say driving through
Dawn DiPietro wrote:
Cars: The New WiFi Hotspots?
By Jennifer LeClaire
01/03/07 11:00 AM PT
Autonet Mobile is hoping to fill what it sees as a void in the market
with its wireless broadband mobile network. Its new Internet service
provider for cars allows passengers to check e-mail, surf the Web, play
games or communicate via any WiFi-enabled device. The company claims it
will work on 95 percent of U.S. roads, regardless of driving conditions
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Business executives often can be found in airports pecking away at their
BlackBerry devices or laptop computers, checking e-mails, reserving
their next plane tickets or just surfing the Web. Now, a San Francisco
start-up hopes to recreate that scene on freeways by turning cars into
WiFi Latest News about WiFi hotspots.
Autonet Mobile plans to unveil its Internet service provider for cars at
International CES, the consumer electronics show that runs Jan. 8-11 in
Las Vegas. The company is also aiming to announce an agreement with Avis
to offer a portable, wireless Internet service by the end of the first
"We live in a car-centric society, and our Autonet Mobile service is
directly addressing the communications needs of today's drivers and
passengers," said Sterling Pratz, the company's CEO. "Today, 40 percent
of all SUVs and station wagons come equipped with media centers,
supporting music and DVDs, yet do not support today's connected
lifestyle of the Internet, e-mail Email Marketing Software - Free Demo
and social media."
The Connected Driver
Autonet is hoping to fill what it sees as a void in the market with its
wireless broadband mobile network. The service allows passengers to
check e-mail, surf the Web, play games or communicate via any
WiFi-enabled device. The company claims it will work on 95 percent of
U.S. roads, regardless of driving conditions or location.
Autonet's first product is a US$399 box that plugs into a cigarette
lighter or standard wall plug. The box uses the company's patent-pending
Tru Technology to provide automatic session management between high- and
low-speed networks. Passengers will also pay a $49 monthly fee for the
on-the-go Internet access.
"The auto industry has been searching for a practical in-vehicle
Internet solution for almost a decade," said Dave Whetstone, wireless
industry veteran and cofounder of Virgin Mobile USA. "Autonet Mobile's
unique approach has been optimized around the specific challenges of
keeping laptops, UMPCs (ultra-mobile PCs), gaming devices and other
WiFi-enabled devices connected while driving."
Beginning of a New Era
Autonet is taking preorders for its mobile in-car routers, which will
start shipping this spring. The company is also seeking funding to keep
its product pipeline full. Angel investors and a round of capital from
Ecosystems Ventures have helped the company bring the telematics product
"We are at the beginning of an era in which the car is connected almost
all the time," Egil Juliussen, principal analyst at Telematics Research,
told TechNewsWorld. "The so-called traditional telematics systems, like
OnStar, have been the leaders of the telematics space for a long time.
Autonet has a different take: getting more content into the car."
Autonet has a window of opportunity that stretches about five years
before heavy competition enters from dedicated short range communication
(DSRC), according to Juliussen.
DSRC is a short- to medium-range communications service designed to
support public safety and private operations in roadside to vehicle and
vehicle to vehicle communication environments.
"By 2010, DSRC will start appearing," he noted. "Eventually, cars will
hook into that infrastructure Free Download - Look Who's Driving the
Next Generation of e-Commerce along major roads and sometime by 2015,
every car will come with DSRC built in."
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