California Company Teams with AT&T to Connect Cars to Internet

With the new technology, passengers can connect mobile devices to the Internet through a Wi-Fi hotspot built into the car.

by Robert Digitale, The Press Democrat / April 10, 2015

(TNS) -- Autonet Mobile announced a partnership with AT&T that will allow drivers and car manufacturers to remotely connect with vehicles over AT&T’s wireless network using the Santa Rosa company’s hardware and software.

With the new technology, drivers can remotely unlock vehicles, start engines, open trunks or set off panic alarms, a company spokesman said Wednesday. Parents can remotely monitor whether their teenage drivers are speeding or driving away from campus during school hours. And passengers can connect mobile devices to the Internet through a Wi-Fi hotspot built into the car.

The technology also allows automakers to deliver wireless software updates without requiring a vehicle’s visit to a dealership.

Under the agreement announced this week, the Santa Rosa company’s applications will utilize the carrier’s 4G LTE network and will be featured in the AT&T Drive Platform for auto technology.

“Commercial partnership like this with AT&T will accelerate the adoption of connected cars and deployment of new connected service capabilities,” Autonet Mobile President Philip Hughes said in a statement.

AT&T, in turn, will be able to offer connected services to more automakers as a result of the new partnership.

“This collaboration will bring remote access, over-the-air software updates and in-car Wi-Fi to more car owners,” Chris Penrose, senior vice president at AT&T Mobility, said in a statement.

Founded in 2005, Autonet Mobile has provided mobile Wi-Fi routers and other connected car services to such auto brands as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, General Motors, Maserati and Subaru.

©2015 The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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