Citroen has demonstrated how the latest communications technology standard, Wi-Fi or Wireless Fidelity, can be fitted to its cars to provide low cost internet access while in transit.
Until now Internet access in cars has been via a GSM mobile phone. In the Citroen camp for example, the Xsara offers full voice activated internet and e-mail access, but with its associated high call costs and slow down load times, Citroen admit that the GSM-based system is really only suitable for business users.
The company sees Wi-Fi is the solution cost and speed issues as demonstrated at the Cannes Film Festival where a Wi-Fi equipped Citroen C3 Pluriel went on show. Wi-Fi technology in the Pluriel enables sufficient download speed for full broadband access to the internet and at a lower cost.
The next step is a Citroen C3 Pluriel equipped with both Wi-Fi and a 3G mobile phone. This would enable the car to become a Wi-Fi hot spot, allowing the use of a Internet-based equipment - note books, PDAs etc. - without having to plug the equipment into the car or a phone line.
Previous Citroen multimedia projects include experimental cars based on the Citroen XM, Evasion and C8, plus production versions with the Xsara and C5 Windows CE sold in Europe.