Inflight connectivity is becoming a passenger expectation, and this expectation could rise following the launch of a new technology by Bentley. The luxury carmaker has launched ‘Advanced Connectivity’, claimed to be the world’s first super-fast, reliable and secure in-car wi-fi system. Bentley passengers can now benefit from uninterrupted mobile network coverage while traveling, providing a functioning and connected executive office environment on the move. This application may be at the top end of the automotive market, but technology often trickles down into more mainstream models.
Bentley has enlisted a familiar name in aerospace for the connectivity service: global communications company, Viasat. The connectivity hardware is placed discreetly inside the car’s boot lid, with the router connected to the on-board DC power supply. The router links to a broadband connected hub located at a static site, and this hub then links the Bentley system to the broadband connection at the host site. A multi-channel virtual private network (VPN) in the cabin can aggregate up to three mobile network operators on one super-fast signal. Bentley customers simply access the connectivity system via a dedicated app on their smartphone.
This means that passengers are able to access a number of entertainment and business applications simultaneously – including high-definition video streaming across multiple devices – with uninterrupted service quality, while the vehicle is in motion. They can also use Skype and virtual office applications, such as the ability to access and edit files on the go, hold video conferences, conduct multiple meetings and be present for discussions, all in a secure virtual environment.