3G connectivity has been baked into cars for years now. Audi and Ford pioneered the technology, but times are a-changin’. The end-all be-all in wireless is no longer 3G as 4G LTE has taken the main stage. That said, Audi is once again positioning itself as a front-runner, bringing an LTE-capable infotainment system to its newest models with the help of Sierra Wireless.
According to the release, “Audi is using Sierra Wireless AirPrime embedded wireless modules to help develop and test the system.” But the real thing won’t be available for quite a while — we’re still in the development and testing phases. Drive tests began toward the end of 2011 and are ongoing.
As I said, wireless connectivity in automobiles isn’t novel, but it would seem that many wireless providers and auto manufacturers are in a race to bring the fastest connection available to their customers.
Just a couple months ago we saw a collaborative effort between Porsche and AT&T to bring 4G LTE to a QNX-powered infotainment system. The results were only semi-impressive, but perhaps Audi and Sierra have made more progress.
Only time will tell, and of course, a glimpse at the integration once it’s ready to go to market.