High-speed Internet access will be the next option for new vehicles, as wireless in
Canadians at home are keen users of all types of wireless devices, from cellphones to tablets to cameras, said
"Why can't I connect them while I'm in my car?" said Nelson.
Under the agreement, automakers deploying Sprint's Velocity platform - developed specifically for the auto industry - would use Rogers' wireless networks, including its high-speed Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network.
Drivers with the option could then use a touchscreen on the dashboard to access weather or accident alerts, and receive customized packages of news and sports. Nelson said the Velocity platform would allow the transfer of customized smartphone settings, enabling passengers to watch TV on demand as they travel.
The wireless option is expected to be available in mid-2014 in
Several automakers, such as GM, are already experimenting with Internet connectivity in vehicles and are advertising their plans to ramp up the offering in next year's models.
But it's not an option that will appeal to all drivers, said technology analyst
"Given how many people have smartphones already, how really necessary is this?" said Duncan, the head of research for technology, media and telecommunications at Deloitte Canada.
A CRTC monitoring report released Thursday showed that, in 2012, the number of Canadian wireless subscribers grew by 1.8 per cent to 27.9 million. More than two out of four people owned a smartphone and more than one out of four owned a tablet, according to the report.
There is also a safety issue that concerns the
"It's not really how good of a driver you are or how well you can multi-task in a car, it's your ability to be distracted while you're engaged in these other activities," said
"The controversy around a lot of this is driver distraction," said DesRosiers, of
But automakers are responding with options such as voice commands and hands-free services, he said.
Consumers, ultimately, will drive the demand.
"If consumers embrace a technology, the automaker follows very quickly in lockstep," said DesRosiers.
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