Paging Ray LaHood: New Audi A8 With Wire-Speed Internet Connection
The Autochannel in the UK is talking about a long wheelbase Audi A8 with built-in LTE 4G connectivity. That shouldn’t be a big feat, it’s new technology, but it can be bought off the shelf. The Autochannel pistonheads however are deeply in awe: “LTE technology offers data transfer speeds of up to 100Mbps, which is similar to a fixed-line broadband connection. This means passengers in the prototype can use the LTE broadband connection to stream music, high-definition videos and other data on up to six computer or mobile phone devices with ease.” Sure, and Ferdinand Piech invented the Internet.
In real life situations, Verizon’s LTE network promises speeds of 5-12 Mbps down and 1-5 Mbps up. Actual tests have shown that it’s not the hardware that makes things faster, it’s the network.
Put a Samsung Galaxy S smartphone into Murilee’s pocket, and he’ll convert the 1962 Plymouth Fury into a datacenter-on-wheels. Just don’t run Speedtest.net while on the track, willya? Ray wouldn’t like that.
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Why would anybody want to build data service into their car when they can use smart phone tethering or a little mifi device to do the same thing? Dumb. But I could see luxury car buyers signing up anyway.
More and more people seem to be using cars for everything but driving. I refuse to even own a cellphone because I don't like the idea of always being 'on-call' all the time (and I'm no Luddite, by the way). I much prefer driving to work than working while I'm driving. I'm sure there will be lots of replies saying that these kinds of advances are great for this and that (I've heard all the arguments), but in the end, for all the good things they do, they end up placing increased demands and expectations on people to be constantly 'available' at a moments notice at all times and places, even while you're driving. Of course someone is going to say you can just turn it off, but the competition and pressure to be constantly 'available' and 'productive' in this sense can be hard to resist. Some people no doubt enjoy being able to multitask at all times and in all places, but I actually like having some time and space for myself without the pressures and expectations to be constantly available. Thanks, but no thanks.