At the end of January, I attended a event hosted by AT&T Wireless all about Connected Cars. It was awesome. Afterward, I got in my old 2003 SUV and thought, “blah.” I think it’s time for my old SUV, that we call “Beastie,” to learn a few new tech tricks. Here’s what I got to learn about in the world of connected cars.
Auto makers are increasingly partnering with technology and wireless companies like AT&T to make their cars connected, safer, and better. Imagine all the accidents prevented when your car corrects itself?
My fellow attendees and I were also given a tour of a sweet, brand new connected Volvo. It parks itself, you guys. I must own a car that parks itself because I’m not known for my parking prowess. It comes with a hot spot, GPS, sensors all over the car so you don’t hit anything or ANYONE, cameras on the back and sides, just everything cool about new car technology. Cars are rapidly becoming rolling homes.
Sigh. I mean, LOOK:
Some of the awesome features of this car include being able to switch from electric, gas, and hybrid on the fly, the ability to start the car from your phone, and “off-road mode which raises the car 1.5 inches, a 360 degree camera, sensors all the way around the car that will warn you if you are in a potential collision situation, and even cross traffic alerts. It’s like your driving brain. And as I mentioned above, it can park for you, too, which, let’s face it, I NEED DESPERATELY. Volvo worked with AT&T and integrated a hot spot in this car, and it allows you to connect up to eight devices, unlimited data, for $230 a year. So much awesome. I love this car so much.
I would love to buy one, but the fact is, that gorgeous car isn’t in our budget at the moment.
So here I am in my 2003 SUV with a just-ok aftermarket stereo dreaming of a new car. Enter:
Old car new Tech: Teaching the ol’ Beastie Some new car Stuff.
Andy Colley at AT&T Wireless was kind enough to offer me a few products to try so I can tech out my old auto. One is the ZTE Mobley mobile hot spot device. You guys. I love this. The kids love this. Here’s how easy it was to install:
Turn your car on, let it run for about 30 seconds, and then add it through your phone’s wifi connection.
Set up and go. It connects up to five devices. No more complaining from Boy Child that he can’t connect his wifi-only tablet while we’re out and about, and no more draining my phone by using it as a hot spot. The real test came, though, when Girl Child and I went on a road trip to visit my brother. Streaming city, baby. No dropped internet. My 80’s Spotify playlist got a workout. This is worth it. When I review products I do my best to be honest and disclose if there’s anything I’ve found not-so-awesome about it, but I had this up and going in less than five minutes and it hasn’t stopped working since. It’s a solid little piece of equipment that is perfect for road trips, long commutes, and car offices. If you want to take advantage of this cool device, AT&T is offering it for free with a 2-year commitment.
I’m so grateful for the opportunity to test these products out. It’s been fantastic. Thank you, AT&T!