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Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) New Chip And Module To Turn Its Cars Into Wi-Fi Hotspots

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Tesla has been improving its connectivity by turning Model S and Model X fleet into Wi-Fi hotspots to connect other devices

Internet of Things is rapidly becoming widespread and is being used in almost every industry, as well as automobile, as most of the vehicles these days have Internet connectivity. Since Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) was the first automobile company to provide over-the-air (OTA) software updates, it is arguable the leading innovative automaker.

Electrek reported Tesla is improving its connectivity by transforming its fleet of Model S and Model X into Wi-Fi hotspots. The move comes after the electric vehicle (EV) maker rolled out a new chip and module earlier this year that were optimized for the feature.

The publication quoted sources close to matter, saying that the company is prepared to allow its vehicles to function as Wi-Fi hotspots; though, there is no surety regarding the official release of the feature. Probably, it has to take care of some other plans before launching it.

Tesla offers an Internet data service plan for free on a four-year period which is included the vehicle’s tag price. After the period ends, a monthly service fee will be likely provided to Tesla owners. New functions should be introduced later to make flexible transition to a paid plan. The owners will indeed be able to connect via their smartphones to pay for just a data package.

Earlier in 2016, Tesla submitted an application the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to use a radio frequency on a new device, a new system-in-package module with a new chip and Bluetooth/Wi-Fi hub/USB. Electrek obtained the documents recently.

The new module was rolled out with a new Qualcomm Atheros QCA6234 chip optimized for a Wi-Fi hotspot. Here’s what Qualcomm says about the chip’s connectivity direct Wi-Fi feature:

“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 FCC document revealed that the automaker was expected to roll out the device in its cars during the first quarter of this year, when it introduced the new Model S sedan. This means that all the new vehicles on the roads now include it.

The vehicle being used as a hotspot will be really popular among Tesla owners, who will be able to use their laptops, tablets, and smartphones via the vehicle’s service plan. It will be more essential when the automaker will be ready to launch Tesla Mobility, a fully autonomous ride-sharing service that could make money for the owners.

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