You can now turn your Chevy into a Wi-Fi hotspot on wheels. Termed Chevrolet Wi-Fi, the dealer-installed option is made possible by a partnership with Autonet Mobile – a firm that’s been providing the rolling hotspot service since at least 2007.
Here’s how it works: you opt for Chevrolet Wi-Fi (either online or at your Chevy dealer) and your dealer installs the Autonet router and docking station. You then whip out your laptop or mobile device (such as an iPod Touch or any other Wi-Fi-equipped gizmo) and connect to the hotspot – just as you would at home. The router connects to the celluar network through an EVDO connection (the same technology used by Verizon, Sprint, and Metro PCS in the United States) and can achieve speeds up to 1.5 mpbs (mega bits per second). It also uses TRU technology to maintain a connection while the vehicle is in motion, allowing for uninterrupted service. Chevrolet Wi-Fi can provide access to several devices at once, enabling multiple passengers to use the connection for their separate gadgets.
The occupants then have the ability to connect to the Internet and do all the things the web offers. Here are some real-world uses of having access to the Web in your car: for families, Chevrolet Wi-Fi allows kids and students to research homework topics on the way home, connect to friends and family on social sites, and watch videos on long drives. When it comes to worksite uses, the Wi-Fi connection offers immediate access to everything on the Web, such as online ordering sites, municipal sites with permit and building code information, and much more!
Chevrolet Wi-Fi is certified with the following new Chevrolet Models:
One unique use-case scenario that we (the GM Authority crew) thought of when discussing Chevrolet Wi-Fi is its possible use as a back-up for the traditional in-home Internet connection: if (when?) your home connection is down, Chevrolet Wi-Fi can serve as a back-up internet access point.
Additional docking stations can be purchased separately, enabling customers to easily move the Chevrolet Wi-Fi router from vehicle to vehicle. We’re not sure whether GM has any plans to offer the Wi-Fi feature on any other Chevy models (Volt, Cruze, Aveo, Malibu, Impala, HHR, Camaro, Corvette), or make the feature available in its other brands (Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Opel/Vauxhall, or Holden) – but it would sure make sense to do so.
Through December 31, Chevrolet Wi-Fi is available for $199 after a $200 mail-in-rebate with a two-year service agreement plus a monthly access fee of either $29 (1GB data plan) or $59 (5GB data plan). Retail price before rebates is $399 for the hardware. It can be purchased online at GMExtras.com or at your local Chevy dealer. As far as we know, this is US-only for now and can only run when the vehicle’s battery and/or engine are activated.
Eyes on the road, people!