San Francisco — General Motors will begin offering in April Internet access directly to the car in the Cadillac CTS, joining Chrysler, which has offered the feature since October.
The Cadillac CTS Sports sedan will offer as a dealer option a Wi-Fi hot spot that can be shuttled from car to
car and that is designed to maintain a signal even in a moving car. It will be available through Cadillac dealerships at an expected $499 plus a $29 monthly service charge.
The hot spot is supplied by Autonet Mobile, which also supplies Chrysler with its Uconnect Web Internet device and claimed that Chrysler has sold “thousands” since October. The Cadillac version will be a third smaller than the earlier Chrysler model and will be transportable from car to car, if the user buys an optional $49 cradle.
Sterling Pratz CEO of Autonet Mobile, said, “General Motors says its customers are asking for the Internet.” Autonet expects to announce a third, German car maker will also offer the Autonet Mobile device in the near future.
The Cadillac version will be unveiled at the New York International Auto Show, April 10–19.
The Autonet hot spot creates an EV-DO cellular connection that is then converted to Wi-Fi so that many passengers in the car can access Internet service for their laptops, gaming machines and other devices.
Autonet claimed its product manages the EV-DO connection down to the packet layer, so the system holds on to packets and redistributes them to prevent dropped calls.
Pratz claimed that car passengers today want to listen to Internet radio, check email and watch YouTube videos while in their cars.
The Autonet hot spot is also available through approximately 300 car stereo specialists and other retailers. Autonet will introduce an updated version of the hot spot to retailers in June — similar to that of the Cadillac — which may be shuttled between cars and is smaller in size.
Ford also offers Internet access, but it is aimed at working professionals. The company supplies a car computer with Internet access in its F-series trucks and commercial E-series vans