Audi has announced its 4G LTE deal with AT&T to put high speed mobile data in your car, and it isn't cheap! The first model to get it built in is the new 2015 A3, and the good news is that it's a standard option and everyone gets a free six-month trial first. After that the costs roll in, but with CarPlay now being an actual thing, is it a better all round option?
Audi of America and AT&T announced new data plans for the all-new 2015 A3 sedan, which debuts this month, and will enable the first-ever in-vehicle 4G LTE data connection in North America. The data plans will be competitively priced, starting at $99 for a 6-month plan and $499 for a 30-month plan.
In addition to the two dedicated plans, Audi has also stated that come this summer customers will be able to add their cars to their AT&T Mobile Share plan. That's right, your car. The prices are pretty high, sure, but CarPlay – at least in vehicles that will have it – looks to be a much better proposal.
We'll ignore the fact that your in-car display basically becomes your iPhone and all its goodies, but it also uses your iPhones data connection. So, streaming music, navigation, accessing the web, all uses your existing data plan. And it's inside your car. So for us, the ones paying for all this and actually driving these cars the end result is the same – or likely better – without the added cost of an extra $499 every 2-and-a-half years.
Audi isn't the only car maker embedding 4G LTE technology into its cars, either. GM showed us an example of its efforts back at CES with its own appstore as well. But an extra data connection requires an extra cost incurred by us, the consumers. If CarPlay will simply plug our existing setup and data plan into our cars, is there really much need for a future for proprietary systems?