Some new Mercedes to come with Wi-Fi
The Wi-Fi services charges $29 a month for 1GB of data and $60 for 5GB, so if you intend to keep the kids entertained, make it a short trip.
Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Photo: Brabus iBusiness
Now you can get Wi-Fi in your new Mercedes, or your old one for that matter. Mercedes dealerships will install an Autonet Wi-Fi router in trunks that create a mobile hotspot inside the car for iPads, laptops, smartphones — you name it.
The Mercedes Mobile Hotspot works the same way that a mobile hotspot card from a carrier works. You're paying for cellular data service to the router installed in your trunk, which then provides a short- range Wi-Fi signal for up to four devices inside the car.
But like the cars, Mercedes data doesn't come cheap — Autonet charges $29 a month for 1GB of data (which will run out quickly) and $60 for 5GB. So if you want to keep the kids occupied with streaming video on a trip, it had better be a short one. What else can you do with that much data? Check our data use chart.
The Mercedes-Benz In-Vehicle Hot Spot can be ordered with new vehicles or installed in existing models. The first six months of Wi-Fi service is free.
No Mercedes? No problem. Autonet routers can be purchased as after-market add-ons from Amazon and other retailers for installation in any car.
Gadget-happy drivers may welcome the news, but those from the automobile maker's homeland may not be so enthusiastic.
According to a survey from global safety certifier DEKRA, most drivers in Germany say that too many new electronics in passenger cars are difficult to manage. Further, 77 percent had trouble operating in-car devices. Women were more concerned about being distracted by devices than men. There was no difference in the responses between old and young — all were equally worried about distracted driving.
But concerns about distracted driving know no boundaries. Last month, the U.S. Department of Transportation proposed guidelines that would block all in-vehicle communications by a driver, including texting, dialing, Internet browsing, and entering a GPS address by hand. Next on the department's agenda are rules governing Internet devices brought into a vehicle by both drivers and passengers.
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