In-car 3G comes one step closer to standard

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Audi has become the latest automaker to announce that it is to introduce 3G connectivity into its vehicles.

The firm confirmed February 15 that high-speed 3G internet access will be available on select versions of its top-end A8 model from this year, enabling drivers and passengers to go online at near-broadband speeds whenever they are in a 3G enabled area.

The Audi Mobile Media Interface was demonstrated today at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, showcasing its high-speed internet connectivity and simultaneous voice connection. Audi announced last year that it would integrate Google Earth to provide high-resolution, 3D satellite and aerial imagery to the vehicle's onboard navigation system.

The MMI will also provide a shared connection, effectively turning the vehicle into a wifi "hotspot" so that passengers can use WiFi enabled devices. The A8 is expected to hit showrooms from July 2010.

In 2008, Chrysler launched "uconnect web", making it the first manufacturer to offer a 3G wifi system available as a dealer-installed option. Last year, Ford announced that it would integrate 3G WiFi into some models using its "MyFord" system as standard.

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