Chevrolet is doing its best to stay one step ahead of everyone else by announcing today that owners of several Chevrolet models can transform their vehicle into a rolling Wi-Fi hot spot with Chevrolet Wi-Fi by Autonet Mobile. Essentially, the dealer-installed system allows for full Internet access the car, and up to 150 feet around the car. All you need is a laptop, cellphone or other portable device with a Wi-Fi module to connect.
If you'll recall, we saw one of Volkswagen's vehicles get the Autonet Mobile option earlier in the year, but this announcement is pretty significant judging by the amount of vehicles affected. Naturally, what this does is connect you to a 3G cell network, so if you head out to the boonies, there's a good chance you'll get little to no connectivity, but in the cities you should be just fine.
Through December 31st, Chevrolet Wi-Fi is available for $199 ($399 retail price, less $200 mail-in rebate with two-year service agreement), though you'll be asked to shell out monthly to keep things connected.
Autonet Mobile is the world’s first Internet service provider designed exclusively for vehicles. As a GM Officially Licensed Product, Chevrolet Wi-Fi by Autonet Mobile is certified to work with the following new Chevrolet models:
Chevrolet Wi-Fi reflects the trend of increased Internet access on the go. According to JiWire’s Mobile Audience Insights Report, eight percent of all public Wi-Fi users log-in while traveling on subways (three percent) and ferries or cruise ships (five percent). In addition, JiWire reports that total public Wi-Fi users jumped 18 percent in just seven months, from December 2008 to June 2009.
Chevrolet Wi-Fi is designed for use by passengers, or by the driver when the vehicle is parked. The system requires no special software and achieves speeds up to 1.5 mbps. It uses TRU Technology to maintain Internet connections over the 3G network while the vehicle is in motion, allowing uninterrupted streaming of videos and more.
For families, Chevrolet Wi-Fi allows kids and teens to research homework topics on the ride home, connect to friends on social sites, and stream videos on long drives. The internet connection can support several devices at once, enabling multiple passengers to use the connection for their separate devices.
When it comes to worksite use, the Wi-Fi connection offers immediate access to everything the Web offers to make the job quicker and easier, from access to online ordering sites, municipal sites with permit and building code information and more. And when used with a laptop computer, the information comes in a larger, easier to navigate format than the small displays of cell phones.
Additional docking stations are available, enabling customers to easily move the Chevrolet Wi-Fi by Autonet Mobile router from vehicle to vehicle.
Through Dec. 31, Chevrolet Wi-Fi is available for $199 ($399 retail price, less $200 mail-in rebate with two-year service agreement). Go to GMextras.com for more information.