Audi upgrading existing 3G service with speedier in-car LTE data chip

Audi A8L

With the addition of T-Mobile 3G WiFi in its lineup, Audi was one of the first automakers to create a “rolling office” in our personal cars.  However, 3G is quickly finding itself in the backseat to the faster LTE services offered by cellular providers today.  Not to be left behind, Audi has partnered with Gemalto to offer an industry-first LTE-capable infotainment system.

That sounds like a lot of crunchy tech terms, doesn’t it?  Here’s the skinny:

In the U.S., Audi Connect is an optional feature that allows the driver to create a rolling wireless hotspot right from the dash.  The feature is powered by T-Mobile, and with a monthly subscription and a SIM card for your car, you can use the internet pretty much anywhere your car can find a signal.  That means Google maps for your navigation, internet searches for places to go, and the ability to connect your phone, laptop or tablet to the internet from the passenger seat.  But, 3G is quickly becoming an outdated (and slow) way to connect to the internet, and Audi doesn’t want to be associated with either.

So, the brand has partnered with digital security company Gemalto to offer Audi owners a faster connection.  The new system is an upgrade for Audi’s current infotainment devices that allows them to process an LTE data connection. The Gemalto LTE chip replaces the existing 3G built into the infotainment hardware, meaning all current Audis with 3G capability should allow for the upgrade, however, Audi has yet to reveal when, or even if, we’ll be getting it stateside.

With faster, more robust access to online services, Audi owners can now simultaneously use voice and data services, quickly load Google Street View navigation, stream video content and connect as many as 8 mobile devices to the WiFi network. 

With LTE as the preferred go-to service on most of our smart phones, we’d be lying if we didn’t say that 3G speeds feel pretty slow.  We’re glad to see LTE finding its way into our cars, and it comes as no surprise that Audi is one of the first brands to offer the feature.

Our question to you: What kind of useful tasks could you accomplish behind the wheel with blazing-fast internet rolling down the highway with you?


This orange puck keeps you online in any country, with one hidden catch

Staying connected on your travels can be a challenge and sometimes results in hefty cell phone bills you could do without. We tried out the Skyroam Solis, a global Wi-Fi hotspot and power bank billed as the perfect solution.

Nissan will invite Google into its cars’ dashboards starting in 2021

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has joined forces with Google to develop a brand-new infotainment system. Scheduled to launch in 2021, the yet-unnamed software will boast navigation via Google Maps over-the-air software updates.
Product Review

From Wi-Fi to door locks, Samsung makes one box to connect your whole home

A collaboration with Plume ensures that Samsung SmartThings Wifi is quicker than its predecessor, but a lack of wired connectivity and fragmented controls means it’s not for everyone.

Audi is finally taking the wraps off its Tesla-fighting e-tron electric SUV

The 2019 Audi e-tron is an electric SUV aimed at the Tesla Model X, Jaguar I-Pace, and Mercedes-Benz EQC. It's Audi's first mass-market electric car, but will it make a good first impression?
Smart Home

Amazon reportedly will introduce an Alexa-enabled microwave, amp, and more

Amazon's Fall 2018 Alexa device rollout is about to begin, sources say. Look for an Alexa microwave, an amplifier, receiver, and subwoofer, and an Alexa voice-responsive device for your car. Amazon is maximizing its voice-command presence.

Elon Musk: Tesla is bringing most collision repair in-house, outsiders too slow

Dissatisfied with third-party collision repair shops, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to announce the firm is bring most repair work in-house. The goal is a car as good or better than new with repair completed in under an hour.

Volkswagen built a 210-mph Jetta, and broke a land-speed record with it

A modified 2019 Volkswagen Jetta just set a land-speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in the G/BGC class. Boasting a 600-horsepower engine, the Jetta hit 210 mph on the salt.
Emerging Tech

Smart sound system will give every car passenger their own wireless audio stream

Can't agree on what to listen to in the car? Imagine if each passenger could get their own way, courtesy of a personal audio stream — no headphones required. Sounds impossible, but it's almost here.
Emerging Tech

No more scraping? Anti-frosting advance could mark end of frozen windshields

Hate frozen windshields in winter? Researchers at Virginia Tech may have found a way to banish them for good, thanks to the world’s first passive anti-frosting surface. Here's how it works.

Ferrari’s latest special editions are stripped down, old-school sports cars

The Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2 are inspired by some of the Italian automaker's most legendary sports cars. They mix old school rawness with modern carbon fiber construction and 789-horsepower V12 power.

Lucid Motors accepts $1 billion investment from Saudi Arabian fund

The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia will invest $1 billion in upstart electric car company Lucid Motors. Lucid hopes to launch a Tesla-fighting luxury sedan called the Air by 2020.

Lyft offers some fun stats to celebrate its 1 billionth ridesharing journey

Lyft cars have made a billion journeys since its ridesharing service launched six years ago. Announcing the milestone on Tuesday, September 18, the company revealed a few fun stats about its rides so far.

End your dependence on fossil fuels with one of these amazing electric cars

Electric cars are getting smarter, safer, and more capable with each passing year. Here are our picks for the best electric cars on the market, whether you're looking for a performance ride or a family-friendly crossover.
Product Review

Aston’s stunning DB11 V8 Volante proves exotic cars aren't just about lap times

With the DB11 Volante, Aston Martin’s marriage of luxury and performance is perhaps at its best, offering hustle that doesn’t feel rushed and refinement with emotion still intact.