As the mobile workforce expands and gains acceptance across the board, industries that serve professionals are changing their offerings to meet new demands. Recently, efforts to turn automobiles into mobile offices have been making a big splash. Automobile manufacturers are partnering with tech companies to change the driving experience drastically (don't worry, cars will still have CD players). The new technology serves a range of professional use-cases, whether it's dispersed workforces that drive around servicing clients or simply individuals who spend extended periods of time on the road commuting every day. Here are a few of the notable recent developments transforming cars into mobile workplaces:
At CES this year, Chrysler unveiled it's UConnect Access Via Mobile offering. It's part app integration system and part telematics system. These cars feature a built in 3G connection to provide drivers with a Wi-Fi hotspot.
High Speed LTE:
If 3G doesn't cut it for you, Audi will soon release the first vehicle to have an available high-speed LTE wireless connection (part of the Audi Connect package).
While it's unclear how car safety officials will react to this one, QNX (a RIM subsidiary) has partnered with Bentley to produce a concept Continental GT fully outfitted with video conferencing.
Some cars, most notably the new Tesla Model S, feature unbelievably large screens. The Tesla's screen looks like a large iPad in the front of the car, and has full web-browsing capabilities.
In addition to built in features, electronics makers are getting into the auto-office industry with a range of products. For instance, portable printers that mobile workers can mount in their cars. These printers use direct thermal printing, so they don't even need ink or toner, and can run on a car's power system.