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5 amazing ways your future car will help you stay connected

5 amazing ways your future car will help you stay connected
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

We all like to stay connected. We sync up our gadgets and phones. We use smart technology in our places of work, and even in our homes. But the one place that still feels a bit out of touch is our car.

Of course, cars have come a long way since the Model T. Bluetooth capabilities, rear-view cameras, navigation systems and zoned temperature controls are just a few of the ways our vehicles have improved. But the exciting thing is that within the next few years our cars will offer even more!

It's pretty fun to imagine what our cars will be like in the near future - and we're not even talking about driverless cars or mind-controlled vehicles. Those things may be coming eventually, but here are five things that are practically here already.

1. Wi-Fi hotspots

Ever since cellphone companies cut back on unlimited data plans, it seems like we're always hopping from one Wi-Fi connection to another. And our cars have always been Internet dead zones.

Soon, that won't be a problem. Manufacturers are already working out the details for turning your vehicle into a Wi-Fi hot spot. One example of this is BMW. The 2016 models for the popular 7 Series already have the capability to create a Wi-Fi network, just like your router does at home.

The system is called BMW Car Hotspot, and it's capable of granting Internet access for up to eight separate devices. You can connect a device, such as your smartphone, by adding the hotspot to the network options in your Wi-Fi settings. The first time you use Car Hotspot, you're walked through a setup process, then the system will automatically connect to your device each time thereafter (see video below).

A three gigabyte or three month trial is included with your initial login information, but after the trial you do have to pay for a data plan. That said, this feature might save you from data overage charges with your cellular provider, but the extra cost per month might be higher anyway.

Similar technology is also available in certain models made by General Motors. This popular brand uses OnStar 4G LTE in models like the Corvette, Volt, Impala and more.

Next page: #2 - A whole new system for drivers
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