Audi and T-Mobile
are introducing new and affordable data plans that will give drivers access to in-vehicle Wi-Fi starting as low as $15 per month. Using the Audi connect infotainment and navigation system, drivers and passengers can obtain real-time news, weather and fuel price info, access to Google Earth, and use Google Voice Local Search through a secure Wi-Fi connection.
"Audi and T-Mobile worked closely to develop the new pricing plan based on extensive research and feedback from both dealers and customers," said Anupam Malhotra, Senior Manager, Connected Vehicle, Audi of America. "The T-Mobile-powered Audi connect service delivers unmatched connectivity to our customers at a rate that will turn their Audi into the ultimate mobile device. This plan will help move us toward the goal of one million connected Audi vehicles on the road worldwide by 2015."
Audi claims it was the first global auto maker to offer factory-installed in-vehicle W-Fi connectivity with the launch of Audi connect in 2011, and now it's serving up one of the most affordable options around. New and existing owners of cars equipped with Audi connect can pay a lump sum of $450 to receive full data services over 30 months, equivalent to $15 per month or less if you factor in the six-month free trial. Here are the options:
| One-Year Plan
| Two-Year Plan
| 30 Month Plan
A recent study
commissioned by AT&T found that nearly half of adult motorists send and receive text messages while driving. Prior to that, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranked U.S. motorists as the worst offenders
of texting while driving, further noting that nine people die each day and another 1,060 are injured as a result of distracted driving.
It remains to be seen if hands-free connectivity in vehicles will lead to less distracted driving incidents.