equipping cars with WLAN technology is an important issue for automakers. "connectivity", the term for the connection of machine, human and the internet of things, is also for older cars interesting. Connectivity is a promising topic in cars. WLAN in the car enables internet usage and communication with other vehicles and road users. WLAN for the car enables various functions. Here is an overview:
External control options
With WLAN for the car, certain vehicle functions can be controlled remotely. This can include, for example, the air conditioning or the heating system. By controlling the car remotely, the driver can set the temperature inside the car before starting the journey. Switching lights on and off or the central locking system can also be controlled remotely in this way.
Use security features
You can optionally choose various safety features can be activated. These accident assistance features are available in case of emergency. This includes, for example, an SOS button that connects the user directly to an emergency call center. Depending on the scope of functions, an automatic call for help can be made as soon as the airbag is triggered.
Use route information
With WLAN and the appropriate equipment in the car, destination information can also be received and route information can be used. For example, the user has the option of recognizing a traffic jam on the route or navigating to a specific destination. It is also possible to display the nearest bank or pharmacy. If the technology is compatible, apps can also be synchronized with the smartphone. This usually requires a compatible entertainment center in the vehicle.
How WLAN can be retrofitted?
WLAN is required for smart connectivity in the vehicle. It must also be possible to establish a WLAN Internet connection. A hotspot permanently integrated in the vehicle hotspot or the option of integrating a SIM card must also be available.
1. WLAN by the manufacturer
Vehicle manufacturers offer options to network the vehicle via WLAN. Depending on the manufacturer, the system has a different name. "command online" is the name of smart networking at mercedes, "connecteddrive" is BMW’s name, and "car-net" is the name of the smart volkswagen system. Depending on the vehicle model, a SIM card can be retrofitted and the appropriate data tariff is also available. The connection to the vehicle can often be established using a manufacturer-specific app Produce. The quality of the connection between the smartphone and the vehicle may depend on the selected telephone tariff. In order to use the manufacturer-specific services, it is usually necessary to register the vehicle (online).
1.1 advantages: with manufacturer’s own connectivity, further digital benefits can be enjoyed. Setup is very simple due to the manufacturer-specific nature of the system, and vehicle manufacturers usually explain how to set it up.
1.2 disadvantages: connection costs usually apply and additional monthly service fees may apply. The car must meet the connectivity requirements (navigation system, specific radio system) must be suitable. Certain services and benefits can only be used to, if a smartphone is available.
2. WLAN through ios or android app
Smartphones can be used in the vehicle and thus help the car to WLAN. This works, for example, via apps such as carplay from apple and androids car. With the help of the apps, built-in entertainment systems can be used, for example.
2.1 advantages: depending on the vehicle manufacturer and the cost of the manufacturer’s own offers, WLAN via smartphone apps can be more cost-effective its. Furthermore, it can be used flexibly. No additional hardware has to be purchased, and no additional telephone contract has to be concluded.
2.2 disadvantages: android and ios apps can be used not in all vehicles used, there may be compatibility problems. The vehicle and also the smartphone must meet certain technical requirements. Depending on the age of the smartphone, a wired connection may be necessary.
3. Hotspot carfi
A hotspot solution for the vehicle can help with connectivity problems. Hotspots are available for the cigarette lighter, for example, and can be purchased as compact devices.
3.1 advantages: are comparatively inexpensive to purchase and can be used in almost any vehicle. The articles can also be purchased with USB port and thus be used to charge the smartphone.
3.2 disadvantages: an additional SIM card and the conclusion of a new data tariff may be necessary.
4. Internet connection via USB sticks
USB sticks, such as surf sticks, are primarily known for use with laptops. However, there are also USB adapters for the cigarette lighter that allow the surf stick to be connected.
4.1 advantages: the option is comparatively inexpensive and can be used on the move. In addition, the surfstick for the tablet PC or laptop can also be used in the vehicle.
4.2 disadvantages: a SIM card and a suitable data tariff are required. Furthermore, there may be compatibility problems or the surfstick can only be used for one end device.
WLAN in the car – a question of cost?
Additional costs are to be expected when using WLAN in the car. The prices differ depending on the retrofit method used. Attention should be paid to the cost of purchase and ongoing costs. As a rule, the manufacturer’s own retrofitting of WLAN and Internet in the vehicle is expensive. There are also costs for extensive services, for example. Depending on the manufacturer and package, for example over 300 euro per year incurred.
The use of apps is free in the first moment, because the apps can usually be downloaded for free in an appstore. But it can lead to consequential costs come. For example, manufacturers can also charge for the activation of certain functions (carplay from BMW – 300 euro for activation) and after a few years it can lead to additional cost come. It depends on the vehicle manufacturer, whether there are ongoing charges to be expected.
surfstick and carfi are comparatively inexpensive, because all you have to do is one-time costs For the hardware from 20 to 80 euros are paid. However, the data tariff is to be considered and it is with costs for SIM card resp. Data usage to be reckoned with.
If WLAN is to be used regularly in the car, then it is advisable to have a own SIM card to use and take out a good data tariff. prepaid offers can also be worthwhile if the data volume used in the vehicle is known.
Pay attention to connection speed and network coverage
It is advisable to pay attention to the LTE speed when choosing a data tariff. The hardware used should also be LTE compatible be. In today’s world, a slow internet connection is often not enough to get information quickly.
Network coverage is also important, because if smartphones and WLAN are to be used in the vehicle, the internet connection must be strong. So it is important to make sure that where the vehicle is driven frequently, the respective provider (telekom, O2, vodafone etc.) a sufficient network coverage owns.
Conclusion: most people can no longer avoid WLAN in the vehicle. Modern vehicles mostly have integrated manufacturer’s own systems. However, these use services that may incur additional monthly or annual costs. If you want to retrofit wifi, there are cheaper options (surfstick or carfi).
Of course, that is not all!
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