Wi-Fi Goes for a Ride—in the Slow Lane

In-car system is reliable but may distract drivers: Mossberg
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Nov 13, 2008 10:06 AM CST
Sterling Pratz, CEO and founder of Autonet Mobile, looks through a window above an Autonet Mobile device installed in a car at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Monday, Jan. 7, 2008.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Wi-Fi has moved to the car, with Chrysler and Autonet Mobile teaming up to offer connectivity on wheels. It's a neat idea that works reasonably well, writes Walt Mossberg in the Wall Street Journal, though speed isn't great, and the initial cost is steep. Moreover, "the company says the service is only for passengers, not drivers, but there's no technical barrier to a driver using it," he writes.

A router in the trunk or cargo area brings in a signal, which is reliable but can drag. "Though some videos froze on me, I never lost Autonet's Internet connection, whether moving slowly through downtown D.C. or moving faster on suburban highways and streets," Mossberg writes. It’s also pricey, at $499 for the router plus monthly fees, and the hard-wired device can't be moved from vehicle to vehicle.