Mercedes-Benz ‘In-Vehicle Hot Spot’ turns your Merc into a mobile office


As if there weren’t plenty of reasons to want a Mercedes-Benz already, in-car internet service provider Autonet Mobile is teaming up with the three-pointed star to give Benz owners the ability to equip current model year 2012 and older C-, E-, S-, M-, R- and GL-class vehicles into truly mobile hotspots with the company’s Wi-Fi entertainment system accessory.

With Autonet Mobile’s in-car Wi-Fi system, you can bring any and all of your smart devices (a shiny new iPad perhaps?) into the car, and browse the Web safely while on the go – preferably not while driving.

By utilizing Mercedes-Benz In-Vehicle Hot Spot powered by Autonet Mobile, passengers, even those relegated to the back seat, can use their laptop, tablet, or smartphone for gaming, streaming movies or anything else just as they would at home. The In-Vehicle Hot Spot is enabled by a router, which is securely installed in the vehicle’s trunk, and can accommodate up to four devices connected at one time.

“With Autonet Mobile’s Wi-Fi entertainment system in our vehicles, we’re able to continue to deliver the best-in-class experience our customers expect,” stated Willi Goossen, general manager, after-sales business development, Mercedes-Benz USA. “Combined with the Mercedes-Benz iPad docking station, the new Mercedes-Benz In-Vehicle Hot Spot system will allow each passenger to have their own Wi-Fi connection and screen holder for a whole new in-car entertainment capability.”

Current Mercedes-Benz owners looking to turn their cars into mobile offices can do so now. Once installed, customers get a complimentary six-month service that runs over both 3G and 2.5G cellular data networks. We asked a representative of Autonet Mobile what type of upload and download speeds we could realistically expect, but were told that it simply depends on the area’s tower infrastructure.

With the wealth of tech available to consumers — and entering the automotive space at a rapid rate — we’re not surprised to see companies like Autonet Mobile make a push with established automakers like Mercedes-Benz and continue to merge the digital realm with the automotive.”The Mercedes-Benz customer is looking for entertainment options beyond the traditional DVD player,” said Sterling Pratz, CEO of Autonet Mobile. “We are excited to be working with Mercedes-Benz to help deliver new and innovative solutions.” 

Currently, Autonet Mobile offers two data plans: 1 GB for $29 a month and 5 GB at $59 month. Mercedes-Benz customers taking advantage of the complimentary six-month service are given the freedom to move between both data ranges during that period.

While most mobile carriers can be pretty strict – and in the case of AT&T, pretty shady — we were surprised to find out from an Autonet Mobile representative that the company takes a pretty lax approach to data usage. Customers are only charged the rate for which they have signed up for with no overage fees. If you do happen to go above your allotted usage consecutively, Autonet Mobile  will simply inform you that your usage exceeds your plan and adjust it accordingly. For subscribers with the 5GB plan, habitually going over 5GB will eventually see your data speeds throttled. However, customers can monitor their usage and set up alters when you’ve reached your limit.