Audi to offer in car WLAN by 2011

Passengers in the forthcoming Audi A8 executive saloon will be able to connect up to eight wi-fi devices.

This will allow passengers to connect their laptops, netbooks, smartphones or other WiFi enabled devices to the Internet at speeds of up to 7.2Mbit/s through a GPRS/EDGE antennae situated on the roof of the car. Access will be activated by inserting any data capable mobile SIM card into the system.

The new Peugeot 508 will feature a similar system and Ford will shortly start offering MyFord Touch, a wireless control system for in-car mobile devices, like phones and MP3 players.

US car maker Chrysler began offering an in-vehicle WiFi system on some of its models in 2009 with mixed results, but providing access via standard European mobile networks should offer faster and more reliable connections.

Meanwhile mobile phone maker Nokia, in partnership with Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen, has released a terminal mode technology specification that it hopes will become the de facto standard of in-car smartphone connectivity, giving passengers wireless access to a range of business and consumer applications.

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