Equipping cars with WLAN technology is an important issue for car manufacturers. “Connectivity”, as the term for the connection between machines, people and the Internet of Things, is also available for older cars interesting. Connectivity is a promising topic in cars. WLAN in the car enables Internet use and communication with other vehicles and road users. WLAN for the car enables various functions. The following is an overview:
External control options
With WLAN for the car, certain vehicle functions can be controlled remotely. This can include, for example, the air conditioning or heating. Remote control allows the driver to determine the temperature in the car before the journey begins. Even switching lights on and off or the central locking system can be controlled remotely this way.
Using safety features
Various optional Safety features be activated. These accident assistance functions are available in case of emergency. This includes, for example, an SOS button that connects the user directly to an emergency call center. Depending on the range of functions, an automatic call for help can be made as soon as the airbag is deployed.
Use route information
With WLAN and the right equipment in the car, destination information can also be received and route information can be used. For example, users will have the ability to detect a traffic jam on the route or navigate specifically to a destination. The display of the nearest bank or pharmacy is also possible. Furthermore, with compatible technology, apps can also be synchronized with the smartphone. However, this usually requires a compatible entertainment center in the vehicle.
How WLAN can be retrofitted?
WLAN is necessary for smart connectivity in the vehicle. Furthermore, it must be possible to establish a WLAN Internet connection. A WLAN permanently integrated in the vehicle Hotspot or the possibility of integrating a SIM card must also be available.
1. WLAN by the manufacturer
Vehicle manufacturers offer options for networking the vehicle via WLAN. Depending on the manufacturer, the system has a different name. “Command Online” is the name of smart networking at Mercedes, “ConnectedDrive” is the name of BMW and “Car-Net” is the name of the smart Volkswagen system. Depending on the vehicle model, a SIM card can be retrofitted and the appropriate data tariff is also available. The connection with the vehicle can often be established via a manufacturer-specific App produce. The quality of the connection between smartphone and vehicle may depend on the phone tariff chosen. In most cases, registration of the vehicle (online) is necessary in order to use manufacturer-specific services.
1.1 Advantages: With manufacturer-owned connectivity, you can take advantage of additional digital benefits. Setup is very easy due to manufacturer specificity and vehicle manufacturers usually declare setup.
1.2 Disadvantages: Connection costs are usually incurred and additional monthly service fees may be charged. The car must be equipped for the connectivity requirements (Navigation system, specific radio system) be suitable. Certain services and services can only be used, If a smartphone is available.
2. WLAN through iOS or Android app
Smartphones can be used in the vehicle to help the car get WLAN. This works, for example, via apps such as Carplay from Apple and Android’s car. With the help of apps, for example, built-in entertainment systems can be used.
2.1 Advantages: Depending on the vehicle manufacturer and the cost of the manufacturer’s own offers, WLAN via smartphone apps can cost less expensive be. Furthermore, it can be used flexibly. Moreover, no additional hardware needs to be purchased and no additional phone plan needs to be signed.
2.2 disadvantages: Android and iOS apps can Not in all vehicles can be used, there may be compatibility problems. The vehicle and also the smartphone must meet certain technical requirements. Depending on the age of the smartphone, a cable connection may be necessary.
3. Hotspot CarFi
A hotspot solution for the vehicle can help with connectivity problems. The hotspots are available for the cigarette lighter, for example, and can be purchased as compact devices.
3.1 Advantages: Can be purchased comparatively cheaply and can be used on the move in almost any vehicle. The items can also be purchased with a USB port and thus be used to charge the smartphone.
3.2 Disadvantages: An additional SIM card and the conclusion of a new data tariff may be necessary.
4. Internet connection via USB sticks
USB sticks, such as surf sticks, are mainly known for use with laptops. However, there are also USB adapters for the cigarette lighter, which allow the connection of the surf stick.
4.1 Advantages: The option is comparatively inexpensive and can be used on the move. In addition, the surf stick for the tablet PC or laptop can also be used for the vehicle.
4.2 Disadvantages: A SIM card and a suitable data tariff are required. Furthermore, there may be compatibility problems or the surfstick can only be used for one terminal device.
WLAN in the car – a question of cost?
There are additional costs to be expected when using WLAN in the car. Prices differ depending on the retrofit method used. Attention should be paid to the cost of purchase and ongoing costs. As a rule, the manufacturer’s own retrofitting of WLAN and Internet in the vehicle is expensive. There are also costs for extensive services, for example. Depending on the manufacturer and package, for example over 300 Euro per year incurred.
Apps are free to use in the first moment, because the apps can usually be downloaded from an app store for free. However, there may be Follow-up costs come. For example, manufacturers can also charge for the activation of certain functions (Carplay from BMW – 300 euros for activation) and it can lead to additional Cost Come. It depends on the vehicle manufacturer whether ongoing charges are to be expected.
Comparatively inexpensive are Surfstick and CarFi, because it must only One-time costs you have to pay from 20 to 80 Euro for the hardware. The data tariff is to be considered however and it is with costs for SIM map and/or. data usage to calculate.
If WLAN is to be used regularly in the car, then it is advisable to install a own SIM card to take advantage of the opportunity and take out a good data tariff. Prepaid offers can also be worthwhile if the data volume used in the vehicle is known.
Pay attention to connection speed and network coverage
It is advisable to pay attention to the LTE speed when choosing the data tariff. The hardware used should also LTE compatible its. In today’s world the slow internet connection is often not enough to get information quickly.
Network coverage is also important, because if smartphone and WLAN are to be used in the vehicle, then the Internet connection must be strong. It is therefore important to make sure that where the vehicle is driven frequently, the respective provider (Telekom, O2, Vodafone, etc.) has the right data volume.) a sufficient network coverage owns.
Conclusion: Around WLAN in the vehicle most do not come any longer around. Modern vehicles usually have integrated manufacturer’s own systems. However, these use service and services, which can cause monthly or annual additional costs. Who wants to upgrade WLAN, has cheaper options (Surfstick or CarFi).
Of course, that was by no means the end of the story!
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