LOS ANGELES, CA- Audi of America says the “connected car future” begins with its 2014 A3 sedan, which will be the first to offer 4G LTE inside the vehicle.
“With the introduction of the new A3 family Audi is putting the most advanced technology into the compact luxury segment,” said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America. “Offering drivers a 4G LTE connection will provide the fastest in-vehicle connection available and significantly enhance the infotainment experience.”
Audi made the announcement Tuesday during the inaugural Connected Car Expo at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Other automakers, such as General Motors Co., have announced plans to deploy 4G LTE in vehicles, but Audi expects to be the first to market when the vehicle arrives in the U.S. next spring.
Kelly Cusinato, a GM spokeswoman, said that the Detroit-based automaker expects its deployment of 4G LTE to start mid-2014, a few months after Audi. The first GM vehicles to receive the 4G LTE mobile broadband will be most 2015 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models available next year in the U.S. and Canada.
GM said benefits for customers include in-vehicle WiFi hot spots, new infotainment options like streaming video entertainment in the back seat, real-time updates and faster application downloads.
Initially, the new Audi connect 4G LTE service will allow enhancements, such as smoother renderings of the Google Earth and Google Street View features that come with Audi MMI navigation plus. The 4G LTE connectivity will also provide faster downloads and high-definition video streaming for up to eight devices used by passengers over the in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot.
Longer term, Audi expects to use the broadband wireless data connection to access vast amounts of “Big Data” services and, potentially, communicate with smart infrastructure, parking garages and other connected cars.
With 4G LTE, the A3 models will have download speeds of up to 100 Mbps. Audi did not announce a wireless partner for the service.
Earlier this year, GM announced ATT would replace Verizon as the data provider for GM’s OnStar services and the 4G LTE network.