Luxury car giant Bentley has today announced what it claims is the world’s first “super-fast, reliable and secure” in-car WiFi system.
Developed in partnership with global communications company ViaSat, the WiFi system is named Advanced Connectivity.
It is designed to work at speeds of 70mph (110km/h), and supports uninterrupted high-definition video streaming across multiple devices simultaneously.
Advanced Connectivity in-car WiFi targeted at businesses
Advanced Connectivity will be available in all new Bentley vehicles from 2019.
The luxury car company is primarily targeting business customers, with virtual office applications and Bentley Skype for business among the key offerings of the service.
The technology will allow passengers to fully adopt the car as an office, holding meetings and video conferences as well as editing files in an environment the company stresses is fully secure.
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The network is designed to be secure because it is a multi-channel virtual private network (VPN), giving it superior security to conventional WiFi networks.
The router itself is fitted inside the boot lid of the vehicle, and is powered through the vehicles on-board DC supply.
It works by linking to broadband-connected hub located at a static site arranged by Viasat. The router then relays the broadband from the site, producing a stable and high-quality connection.
Viasat is well placed to provide such a service, as the company already operates 14 million WiFi hotspots worldwide. The company also operates satellite-enabled WiFi on a number of commercial airlines.
Driverless vehicle potential?
With driverless vehicles just a few years away, the technology may have further potential in the future.
The advent of self-driving vehicles will result in more people travelling as passengers, meaning the need for in-car entertainment – as well as office connectivity – will rise.
For Bentley, then, the rollout of Advanced Connectivity in 2019 may prove to be a valuable testing ground for a technology that is only set to see demand grow in the future.