Autonet Mobile Offers In-Car WiFi


Wi-Fi Planet covers Autonet’s new in-car Wi-Fi system

The San Francisco-based Internet service provider Autonet Mobile serves a slightly different target market from the average ISP—cars. The company’s router creates a Wi-Fi hotspot in and around the vehicle in which it’s installed—and even in the face of a significant economic downturn, company CEO Sterling Pratz is optimistic about Autonet’s future.

From the beginning, Pratz says, Autonet’s aim has simply been to extend the home Internet experience to the car. “We really felt like the car was the last bastion of connectivity for the Internet,” he says. “And we also felt that once you put the Internet into the car, a whole new ecosystem of applications and services and products would form.”

And Pratz says the range of devices already being used on the system is impressive. “We’re seeing not just laptops and mini-PCs… we’re also seeing iPod touches streaming Internet radio into the front seat—mostly FlyCast and Pandora… and in the back seat, we’re seeing a lot of Facebook, a lot of social networking, Yahoo! Messenger, and a lot of Google Earth,” he says.

Clever invention. I especially like the idea of streaming Pandora into the car radio and using Google Earth for navigation.

What I don’t like is the idea of being connected all the time, everywhere, thus having no excuse not to reply to your online friends, coworkers, clients, etc. Can you imagine taking a beautiful drive up Big Sur and being pinged by your boss through your car radio?

Now the connectivity has made it into even the most remote areas, it’s time to delineate some boundaries around usage etiquette.

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Written by Drea Knufken

Drea Knufken

Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral.