The connected car is one of the current hallmarks of the Internet of Things. Automakers, carriers and software providers are all joining in to create the next generation of vehicles, and today, that means machine to machine (M2M) connectivity. Audi is one of the latest companies integrating M2M technology into its vehicles, and is now providing LTE connectivity in the 2015 A3 sedan via AT&T (News - Alert), making it the first automobile in the U.S. to offer 4G data.
With LTE connectivity, Audi owners can stream more than 7,0000 Internet radio stations, navigation, text-to-speech headlines, social network alerts, personalized RSS news feeds and more.
The LTE (News - Alert) connectivity offers customers two plans:
- 5GB over six months: $99
- 30GB over 30 months: $499
Users can opt in for email alerts notifying them when their data limit is close.
"Having the choice of two data plans gives the consumer the opportunity to choose a contract that works best for their lifestyle and allows them to maintain connectivity in the vehicle for an extended period of time," said Scott Keogh, president, Audi of America (News - Alert), in a statement. "The new AT&T data plans with 4G LTE connectivity will allow Audi drivers to enjoy seamless navigation, streaming and high-speed access to the Internet."
Audi also offers Audi connect, which features Google (News - Alert) Earth satellite imagery for GPS, weather reports, fuel prices, travel information, voice-activated controls and more. The Audi S3 was the automaker’s first model to integrate a 4G-capable infotainment system in 2013. All A3 sedans equipped with Audi connect will receive a free six-month LTE trial period.
In addition to the two plans, users will be able to add a car to their existing AT&T Mobile Share plan starting this summer – bridging the gap between smartphones and tablets and cars.
AT&T envisions a connected car that features telematics, advanced diagnostics, remote services, family tracker, voice recognition, automotive app store, vehicle updates, connected media, rear seat infotainment and more. In addition to providing the network backbone for automakers, it also provides the AT&T Drive Studio, a connected car center that brings together automakers and software companies to collaborate on new connected car technologies.
Edited by Blaise McNamee