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4G Drive: the Auto-Broadband Revolution

September 5, 2013

With Vodafone and O2 now in on the 4G market, with existing providers EE intending to offer coverage to 70% of the country by the end of this year and 98% by the end of 2014, the time is ripe for 4G enabled cars. But where are they? Well, living up to their motto of “Vorsprung durch Technik” (advancement through technology), German manufacturer Audi are set to win the race to market with the first commercially available car supporting the new system – the Audi S3 Sportback.

Hang on, haven’t I seen this already?

Yes. The S3 is already available in a number of markets. It’ll be the 2015 version, scheduled for release early next year, which will feature the new technology. Apparently Audi plans to make the 4G LTE technology available in other models, including the whole of the A3 range, by November next year, so it looks like they’re intending this to be a standard bit of kit going forward.

What’s so great about 4G anyway?

With 4G LTE, you get download speeds of up to 100Mbps and upload speeds of up to 50Mbps, a significant improvement on current 3G technology. This means you can exchange large amounts of data via the Internet at much faster speeds, allowing you instant, hassle-free access to tons of music, as well as HD quality films. The greater bandwidth offered by 4G LTE also opens up possibilities such as Skype video chat and voice-to-text for things like e-mail and dictation software. Of course, this also means you’ll never have to be out of contact with all important social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, either.

 

Okay, so this is just a gimmick to turn my car into some kind of entertainment centre, right?

No. While 4G LTE does mean you’ll be able to enjoy all the same entertainment options in your car that you’ve come to expect at home, it also promises to enhance your driving and vehicle ownership experience in other ways. One major advantage is that you’ll be able to more effectively take advantage of navigation tools like Google Earth and Google Street View, offering a cheaper alternative to the traditional satnav. You’ll also have access to a continuous flow of up-to-date traffic information, plus high-tech security measures, such as next-generation remote vehicle monitoring.

Going forward, 4G LTE will also enable your car to interact intelligently with the surrounding environment, via a greater degree of interconnectivity. This has the potential to enhance safety, efficiency and convenience for drivers, passengers and pedestrians. Audi is looking to be a major player in the growing field of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure networking. These sorts of technological advancements are potentially laying the foundations for much more intelligent and user-friendly transport systems of the future, which could completely revolutionise the way we drive.

How easy will it be to set up 4G in my new car?

The technology works by creating a WLAN hotspot in your car. In order for this to work, you’ll need to get hold of a compatible SIM card with a data package from one of the networks offering 4G. Then simply insert that SIM card into the slot provided which is integrated into the Audi’s MMI navigation plus unit.

Isn’t anyone else going to be offering 4G in their cars?

Yes. Rival manufacturers General Motors have announced that they’ll be providing 4G LTE in most of their vehicles from 2014 onwards. Expect other car companies to follow suit in due course, with 4G likely to become the new standard within the next couple of years.

If you can’t wait to get your hands on this new technology as and when it becomes available, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got your financing sorted as soon as possible. Why not take the stress out of finding the money for your new car and contact The Car Loan Warehouse? Get in touch today to find out how we can help you find the right finance for you.

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.