Published on September 21st, 2016 | by Guest


Getting to Know the Advantages and Drawbacks to In-Car WiFi Hotspots

Many cable companies and small businesses offer WiFi hotspots across town so that you can stream or post without those expensive data costs. Although these hotspots are convenient, many millions of people spend countless hours behind the steering wheel. Outfitting a car with a WiFi hotspot is one of the newest changes facing the automotive industry. Although you might immediately think that a roaming, WiFi hotspot is a perfect addition to society, there are both advantages and drawbacks to this technology.


Automotive Software Updates

A major advantage to in-car WiFi is software updates from the vehicle’s manufacturer. At times, the vehicle might communicate with the manufacturer through the WiFi connection. If a new software version is available for the vehicle’s model, that data can be instantly sent and installed without any extra trips to the dealership. These updates might be for better fuel mileage or an alteration to the braking system. Because most of a modern vehicle is equipped with computers, automatic software updates will only improve the ride without taking time out of the owner’s day.

Traffic and Music

An advantage seen directly by the consumer is the ability to stream entertainment and pertinent information. You might want a certain music genre played in the car, but your playlist is on a cloud server. As a solution, you can stream that music through your WiFi hotspot without using your smartphone or tablet data. Alternatively, stay out of traffic headaches by allowing an application to stream through your car or phone. These traffic apps give you a real-time view of the streets and highways in order to avoid any accidents or congestion.

Safety Communication Between Cars

When WiFi hotspots grow to larger numbers on the road, you might see more communication between cars. Vehicles can indicate locations to other cars in the area so that no one drives too closely to each other. This communication works by sending messages through the WiFi to each vehicle’s on-board computer. An indicator might flash on the dashboard to warn the driver of any close calls. This particular advantage to WiFi hotspots is being evaluated very closely by automotive makers.

Redundant Technology

Some technologically savvy consumers look at WiFi hotspots as a redundant feature. Most people have cellular data where they can connect to the same information as the WiFi hotspot. Mobile connectedness is already a feature for some consumers so they don’t perceive the extra charges to be justified. In fact, any given WiFi hotspot may not be as fast as some consumers’ data plans. In most cases, you’ll need to decide for yourself if this hotspot feature works for your needs.

Dating Older Cars

You might drive your car for 10 years or longer. The technology within your car when you buy it brand new may be a few years old at that point. If automakers add WiFi hotspots to cars as a basic feature, the technology will quickly be outdated. Almost every year, technology changes in gadgets and among the carriers. A WiFi hotspot that used to work without fail might be spotty in just a few years, which dates the car and brings its value down.

Ever-Present Distractions

Safety experts are concerned that another gadget in the car is only going to distract people further from the road. More devices can be integrated into the car, which draws the eye of the driver. Another sound in the car is enough to break a driver’s concentration and possibly create an accident. WiFi hotspots may not be right for every driver.

When you take a look at your vehicle options and current technology, your ultimate choice might be based on affordable coverage. Don’t buy any new gadgets unless you feel that they’ll be useful for your purposes. Buying technology for display purposes will only drive your finances deeper into a debt hole. When a chosen gadget will improve your life and possibly protect it, you should seriously consider it for your everyday lifestyle.

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