I’m going to date myself here, but I remember when the coolest new thing in car technology was automatic windows. Now cars are just a series of connected computers that have built in screens and navigation, satellite radios, safety features to protect you from dangers you can’t even see, and cameras everywhere. It makes logical sense that the next step would be making these integrated computers connected so you could have Wi-Fi on the road, and that’s definitely the way things are headed.
Last week we checked out the latest and greatest in car tech as AT&T’s guest to the Seattle Auto show and what stands out the most is the connected car of the future. We got to take a spin in the 2016 Volvo XC90 and got to experience the awesomeness of a connected car firsthand. I’ve always been a Volvo fan, and this new model definitely did not disappoint. With a modern stylish exterior, gorgeous interior, comfortable seats and excellent visibilty, I was immediately impressed. Then after driving it and being surprised with the power delivery from the 2.0 liter 4 cylinder that runs on regular unleaded, and seeing how well all the connected features work, I decided I absolutely need to see about getting some extra time behind the wheel.
A quick look around the rest of the show and it's clear connected cars are arriving in a big way. This is because AT&T is partnering with companies like Volvo, GM, Audi, Subaru, and more to make your Wi-Fi experience as seamless as possible, and to suit many different tastes.
But, what if you’re not in the market for a new car but still love the new Wi-Fi feature? Well, AT&T has you covered there, too. Now you can have Wi-Fi on the road in any 1996 or newer vehicle with the ZTE Mobley device from AT&T. This means you can surf the web, watch movies, stream music, play games, and more all while on the go. Basically, your Wi-Fi connection is on when your vehicle is on and your AT&T network connection will follow you wherever 4G LTE is available.
It sounds like an intense install, but you can actually retrofit any vehicle easily in just seconds all by plugging in this tiny device right into your car all by yourself. A mobile-friendly web portal makes it easy to manage passwords and guest networks.
Wondering how much it costs? It costs $99 without a contract, and you can simply connect the AT&T ZTE Mobley device to your AT&T Mobile Share Value/Mobile Data plan for an access charge of $10 or you can connect with a DataConnect plan for a monthly charge of $20/1GB or $30/3GB. You can connect up to five Wi-Fi capable devices so every passenger can use the same hotspot for their various devices.Devices connected to the Wi-Fi hotspot use data from your vehicle’s plan. Once a device connects to your vehicle’s hotspot, it can automatically reconnect and use vehicle data unless the hotspot is removed from returning device settings or the hotspot password is changed.
With internet connectivity in your car you will have access to real time info pinpointed right to your actual location to get you where you need to go and through traffic much better than listening to the radio. And all the while everyone in your car can keep in touch with all their social media, or keep entertained if traffic does get the better of you. And for the newer fully integrated cars phone calls and texting through voice controls become a much safer option. And best of all, software updates promise new technologies can be added along the way.
So if you spend a lot of time in the car consider seeing what AT&T can do for you, whether that's in a new car, or the one you already own.
The AT&T ZTE Mobley device is available online or at AT&T stores.