Demand for Cars with WiFi to Increase 40 Times by 2017

iSuppli is forecasting that demand for cars with built-in WiFi will increase to 7.2 million vehicles in 2017, a 40-time increase from today’s 174,000 connected cars. Though integrated WiFi may provide a more limited role in getting road warriors mobile broadband access than an integrated 3G modem, auto-makers are relying on WiFi as a means of connectivity that’s low cost and may not deter budget-conscious consumers from balking at high data costs or long-term contracts in new “smartcars.” Right now, Ford’s Sync system uses a similar WiFi approach, but can enable mobile broadband and serve as a mobile MiFi-like device when a 3G USB modem dongle is plugged into the Sync system. This may be more beneficial to users as they can take their mobile broadband connection with them when they leave the car and not have to purchase another device or rely on another plan for data. Other high-end car manufacturers, like Audi with its 2011 A8, may take the integrated 3G approach that can provide Internet access to as many as 8 devices.

Filed in Gadgets. Read more about , , , and .