AutoNet Mobile has updated their in-car wireless router for 2008, and this useful device will allow you to connect to the Internet via any WiFi-enabled device. This would include: laptops, PSPs, cell phones, PDAs, and more. The kids won't be bored on those long road trips anymore!
This innovative technology was originally introduced last year. You may have seen the AutoNet Mobile in-car wireless routers inside of certain Avis rental cars - Avis has been a partner with AutoNet Mobile for a while now. Soon they will be available for anyone to purchase, and they will turn anyone's car into a WiFi hotspot.
AutoNet Mobile in-car wireless router
AutoNet Mobile has partnered with Delphi to create the hardware needed for this system to work, and AutoNet is the actual Internet provider for this in-car WiFi setup. The system works by using cell phone networks (3G, EVDO) to provide a wireless Internet signal to the router in your car, which then turns your car into a wireless hotspot - much like your wireless router at home. Multiple users can be on the Internet at the same time, and the router has a range of about 100 feet from the car (in ideal conditions).
The wireless router mounts inside the vehicle, most likely the trunk, and it doesn't require any other special hardware or software. It will provide Internet to any WiFi-enabled device at speeds of 600kbps-800kbps. Because the AutoNet wireless router uses the fast and reliable 3G/EVDO networks, you are able to get Internet access on over 95% of U.S. roadways (according to the manufacturer).
There's no word on pricing yet, but earlier in-car wireless router models sold for about $399 - so I would expect pricing to be similar. You will also need to pay a monthly usage charge to the service provider (AutoNet Mobile) which will probably cost around $50 or so. This technology is what many parents who travel long distances with the kids have been waiting for to help keep the kids busy during those long trips. This device will be available this Spring.
UPDATE: The AutoNet Mobile CarFi Router is now available in stores. You can find it here on Amazon.
Sources: DVICE and AutoNet Mobile
Joe Eitel's Gadget Blog