UPDATED: Response from Audi Australia.
The legendary Knight Rider may have been the first talking car to hit the TV screen. But the concept took one more step towards reality with the launch of in-car broadband for US owners of Audi 2015 A3 sedans.
Broadband-equipped cars could read aloud news headlines and personalised RSS news feeds. An accompanying mobile app connected smartphones to Audi’s MMI navigation system which reduced the need for Audi motorists to handle their devices when accessing certain smartphone-based features.
Audi Australia told BoxFreeIT there was no set date for launching in-car broadband in Australia. “But we are working closely with Audi engineers to introduce it as quickly as possible,” a spokesperson said.
“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,” said Scott Keogh, president from Audi of America.
The 4G LTE connection provided by AT&T would power the Audi Connect platform which included picture navigation, Facebook and Twitter alerts and access to more than 7,000 Web radio stations by the end of this month.
Two data plan options were offered for all Audi A3 sedans with Audi Connect: a 5GB, six month plan for US$99 and a 30GB, 30 month plan for US$499 and a free six month 4G LTE trial period, said Audi earlier this week.
The plans were based off typical usage in a vehicle from former experience with 3G+ Audi connect owners, who showed they prefered either a six month or a 30 month term. Customers would be sent e-mail alerts if they neared the data plan limit.
Audi of America planned further 4G LTE capabilities to its entire lineup as new or refreshed models came out in selected markets.
General Motors also announced theirplans to roll out 4G LTE capable vehicles earlier this year at CES. By year end, Chevrolet would have more than 30 models with 4G LTE, “giving us the broadest deployment 4G LTE connectivity in the industry,” said Stuart Fowle, a GM spokesperson.
GM’s initial plan with AT&T 4G LTE services included the 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe and GMC Canyon.