Cadillac In-car Wi-Fi to Debut at 2009 New York Auto Show in CTS Sport

With more and more technology being packed into cars these days, Cadillac is trying to stay ahead of the curve by offering dealer-installed Wi-Fi equipment in cars.

Autonet Mobile Inc., the company that provides Chrysler’s Uconnect Web, will provide the internet service to Cadillac as well. The system is built around Autonet’s mobile router that receives internet signals through cellular data networks. It then creates a Wi-Fi hotspot in the car.
The router found in Cadillac vehicles sports a Cadillac emblem and is smaller and sleeker than the router found in Chrysler vehicles. It is also movable because about 40 percent of Autonet’s customers have asked for the ability to move the router from their weekly car to their weekend car. Customers can have the docking port for the device installed in more than one GM vehicle to take full advantage of the router’s portability.
Rear-seat passengers are the targeted users as the service provides an alternative to rear-seat entertainment systems. “In the back seat they’re basically going to YouTube, where they once watched DVD players,” said Autonet CEO Sterling Pratz. “Now every Cadillac CTS will come with the capability to have YouTube and Facebook in the car.”
A potential problem is drivers surfing the internet while driving down the freeway. The only way to stop this is the honor system. Customers have to agree to “terms of use” policies when signing up for the service and linking any devices to the Wi-Fi network. “When they sign up for it, they have to agree that that’s not what this is for,” Pratz said. “We find customers are staying with it. We’re not really seeing any problems out in the field.”
Adding internet access to a car will cost around $500 plus a monthly access fee. Customers will buy the ‘Cadillac Wi-Fi’ router from a dealer or online for about $499. A subscription to Autonet’s Internet service starts at $29 per month.
Source: Automotive News


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