Mercedes-Benz is showcasing a prototype car at Comdex that it claims will be able to download music, video and up-to-date road maps, and have email delivered as text-to-speech using a built-in wireless Ethernet connection.
The car of the near future comes fitted with a special broadband telematics system that allows high volumes of wireless data to be transmitted in a few seconds, rather than requiring a continuous cellular-type connection.
Officials said the system, labelled DriveBy InfoFueling, could also work with satellite radio services, which are currently being deployed in cars.
The DriveBy system will use Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC), a system that involves a series of high-bandwidth wireless local area network transceivers at strategic locations along the road using 802.11a technology which performs at 54Mbps.
For future Intelligent Transportation System services, DSRC has been designed for the high-speed transfer of information between vehicles and the infrastructure as well as between vehicles, according to Mercedes.
The DriveBy concept is easily scaleable by adding new stations between existing ones to maintain system capacity, so that serving millions of cars during commuting hours is quite feasible.
The prototype comes out of Mercedes' DaimlerChrysler Research and Technology North America lab in Palo Alto, California.
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