Wi-Fi and connectivity are expanding in cars’ environments and now there’s no need to go with a new car just to have access to these novelties.

Delphi Automotive PLC announced the launch of Delphi Connect with 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot, a premium version of its cloud-based automotive connectivity system with Verizon Wireless.

This car-to-cloud/cloud-to-car connectivity service is said by Delphi to provide many features that offer consumers even more ways to extend the smart technology they use at home to their cars.

Delphi and Verizon partnered last year to introduce Delphi Connect in the U.S.—a device that allows car owners to remotely control, monitor and track their vehicle in real-time via a smart device or computer. Some of these features, which can be accessed at any time and from anywhere, include vehicle tracking and car locater, car locking or unlocking, car start, delivery of vehicle health notifications and geo-fencing.

The newly launched Delphi Connect with 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot is said to provide another option for people looking for the added convenience of bringing Wi-Fi into their cars.

“Delphi Connect with 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot is real-time vehicle connectivity,” said Jeff Owens, Delphi chief technology officer. “From virtually anywhere, you can rely on Wi-Fi hotspot access at 4G LTE speed to make your vehicle as connected as your home or office.”

Delphi explained the following upgrades will also be added to both the original and the premium device:

  • Increased compatibility: compatible with more than 99 percent of the vehicles sold since the 1996 model year
  • Automatic updates: vehicle data is automatically updated without having to “refresh”
  • Trip breadcrumbs: on the trip map, users can see the route their vehicle took, as well as the start and end points
  • Rectangular geo-fences: in addition to circular geo-fences (vehicle boundaries), rectangular geo-fences can be created for improved vehicle monitoring
  • Secure access to app: optionally lock the Delphi Connect app using a personal four-digit PIN to block unauthorized use of the app while still providing quick access
  • Remote logout: mobile phones that have access to your account can be logged out of the app remotely. For example, parents of teen drivers can log out their teen’s smartphone access
  • Updated entry notifications: effortlessly add email addresses and mobile numbers to receive notifications of alerts

Verizon said Delphi Connect with 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot is now available for online purchase at www.verizonwireless.com and will be available in Verizon Wireless retail stores November 21.

The Delphi Connect module simply plugs into the vehicle’s OBD II port, typically located under the steering column.

The system operates through downloadable Delphi smartphone apps, available for Android and Apple, as well as a Delphi Web portal.

Per Delphi, the programmable nature of this product will allow Delphi to constantly improve the service and offerings in the future.

This does bring a question to mind. With such accessories now competing for access to the OBD II port with other telematic accessories, like the vehicle usage modules insurance companies are using, are we going to see multi-OBD II ports appearing in glove boxes to accommodate these new gadgets?