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  But, 3G is quickly becoming an outdated (and slow) way to connect to the internet, and Audi doesn’t want to be associated with either.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?

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

AT&T jumps the gun with deliberately misleading 5GE launch

As excitement about 5G networks continues to build, AT&T jumps the gun with a ridiculous and deliberate attempt to deceive the public with 5G Evolution – a speed bump that’s based on improvements to 4G tech.
Outdoors

Nike’s Adapt BB shoes let you tighten your laces with an iPhone

The new Nike Adapt BB shoe comes with smartphone connectivity that allows the user to tighten the laces using a smartphone while providing the ability to adjust tension throughout the game.
Product Review

If you don't know about Genesis yet, the G70 is going to change that

The 2019 Genesis G70 is Korea’s first attempt to take on the vaunted German trio of BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Competition doesn’t come much tougher than that.
Cars

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Cars

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.
Cars

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Cars

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
News

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.
Cars

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.
Cars

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.