If you cannot stay away from the internet for more than few seconds then you will love what Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has in store for you. The automaker is reportedly releasing cars with Qualcomm Wi-Fi hot spot chips that allow for “always on” connectivity wherever and whenever. The report noted that all cars build in the second quarter of 2016 would come with this new feature.
According to Electrek, Tesla filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission to utilize radio frequencies with a Session Initiation Protocol (SiP) module. The SiP modules generate signal and control multimedia communications sessions conducted via the internet. It also allows for voice calls, video calls, and SMS messaging. The module comes with a Qualcomm Atheros QCA6234 chip, which has been optimized as a Wi-Fi hotspot and a USB/Bluetooth/Wi-Fi hub.
“The Qualcomm Atheros industry leading AP Mode feature allows the QCA6234 device to operate as both a station and an Access Point, enabling seamless station-to-station interconnection with all the benefits of standard infrastructure-level simplicity (no special client software or settings required), security, and power save functionality,” the Electrek report noted.
Tesla’s request includes plans to install the module in Tesla vehicles at the start of the first quarter of the year. The media source also noted that the American electric carmaker would introduce an updated version of its highly popular Model S car, just a few weeks after the end of the first quarter on March 31st. It is expected that the wireless internet module is installed in the Model S and Model X vehicles released since that period. However, it remains unclear when the carmaker plans to formally introduce the new hot spot hardware to the public.
So far, all vehicles by Tesla come with 4-years free internet data service. Sources familiar with the issue suppose that car owners will shoulder the cost of the internet data service after the initial four-year period expires.
The first batch of Model S cars was sold in June 2012, which means the four-year period of free internet has already passed for some customers. This means, there is no guarantee for in-vehicle mobile hotspot service. The service is activated using an over the air software update. The new hardware could be designed to make it easier for customers to transition into a paid internet service plan.
Electrek believes that car owners will be able to maximize the new wireless internet feature of Tesla vehicles once the automaker reaches SAE level 4 autonomy. This level allows for 100% autonomous driving, enabling cars to drive themselves under selected conditions. Beyond that point, motorists and passengers can expect always-on connectivity in the vehicle, much like how Wi-Fi works at home or in the office.
As one of the leading car brands in the world, Tesla is always at the forefront of technology. In fact, the company was the first to offer over-the-air (OTA) software updates for all its vehicles.