WiFi is expected to follow a similar path to Bluetooth in the car, and should see a growth spurt over the next 7 years.
During that time its use in OEM factory radios and infotainment systems will increase 8 fold in North America and Western Europe, according to IMS Research.
WiFi has transitioned from a mainly PC-related networking technology to one that is widely used in smartphones, ereaders, portable game consoles and other consumer electronics products, so the car is a logical next step.
Also, a new form of WiFi, called WiFi Direct (peer to peer WiFi; see below) is now available for use beyond simple networking.
WiFi for the car will be used as in-car hotspots, and it may also be used, along with MirrorLink, for wireless screen duplication. Other WiFi uses include tethering, wireless car diagnostics and wireless software upgrading.
IMS says we may even see WiFi camera modules in the car.
WiFi Direct is a fairly new standard from the Wi-Fi Alliance that lets you share content (even movies) from one device to another without a connection to the Internet. You don’t need a router. It’s faster than Bluetooth. WiFi Direct can move data at up to 250 megabits per second vs. Bluetooth at 3Mbps. It also has a longer range than Bluetooth of 200 feet compared to 30. (See Popular Mechanics)