GERMAN AUTOMAKER Audi has unveiled what it claims is the world's first car with an integrated 4G internet connection.
Powering a superfast internet connection via Audi Connect infotainment system, the 4G connectivity will feature in Audi's S3 Sportback, which is set to hit dealer lots in Europe starting today.
The technology will help "broaden the scope" of the firm's in-car infotainment services, while at the same time downloading and delivering information to navigation systems and traffic updates more quickly over a more reliable connection.
Audi said the 4G connectivity in its cars is scheduled for a wider rollout during 2013, reaching all other variants in the premium compact range in November. However, the US will have to wait until spring before they can cruise along with 4G services.
"The integration of 4G marks a very important step in the evolution of the Audi connect system, which networks the car with the driver and the Internet, and in the future could also provide an interface with the infrastructure and with other vehicles," the firm said in a statement.
"From navigation with Google Earth and Google Street View to Audi music stream web radio and online traffic information. Facebook and Twitter social media platforms have also been made vehicle friendly with a text to speech function and a status function with prepared text modules."
There's also a fuel station locator that will be powered by 4G, Audi said. This incorporates distance and pricing information, and has a local parking availability and pricing function.
Audi said that to use 4G in its new lineup of cars, customers will have to buy something called "MMI Navigation Plus with Audi connect", which is available as part of the firm's Technology package.
A 4G SIM card also needs to be inserted into a slot in the glovebox of the car. µ