Creating a Hot Spot on Wheels

Imagine a tailgate party with a dozen or more people grilling brats and uploading photos to their Facebook account. That could be one of the many uses for in-car WiFi, to be incorporated into the next-generation of Ford SYNC® system, available in 2010.

While some cities are becoming giant hot spots, the availability of WiFi can be spotty at best. More often than not, connecting to WiFi for your laptop or other WiFi-capable device means being inside a building, with the obligatory coffee or meal purchase.

Don’t get us wrong, that’s a nice service for these businesses to offer their customers. But, studies by the Consumer Electronics Association show that as many as 77 million adults make up the so-called technology enthusiast drivers population. More than half of this population express the desire for a connected communications and information system in their vehicles. The study also showed that, even among the general population, more than one third of Americans would be interested in the ability to check email and access Web sites in their vehicles.

The system works when a compatible USB mobile broadband modem – sometimes called an “air card” – is inserted into SYNC’s USB port. This will produce a secure wireless connection that will be broadcast throughout the vehicle, allowing passengers with WiFi-enabled mobile devices to access the Internet anywhere the broadband modem receives connectivity.

“While you’re driving to grandma’s house, your spouse can be finishing the holiday shopping and the kids can be chatting with friends and updating their Facebook profiles,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. “And you’re not paying for yet another mobile subscription or piece of hardware because Ford will let you use technology you already have.”

The SYNC WiFi capability is a simple solution for bringing Internet into the vehicle, versus competitive systems on the market. Being factory-installed, the hardware is seamlessly integrated into the vehicle, whereas competitor’s systems are dealer-installed and require a bulky bolt-in receiver and transmitter that take up cabin space. Also, competitive systems cost approximately $500 for equipment and installation, not to mention the monthly subscription fee.
justin p 03/01/2010
i agree with micheal a much as i hate to say it because i am a chevy guy but if people really wanted on the internet the have cell phones that can do it so wifi or not it is still possible to get on the internet from your car they are just making it capable for laptops and itouches and other technology that needs wifi to get on it. also even if they make a law saying you cant text and drive people still do it and always will. becuase speeding, murder, drunk driving is agianst the law and countless people still do that.
Time to Think 02/01/2010
Have you seen the statistics on traffic accidents and deaths related to cell phone use while driving (not using the hands-free features), then more recently on texting while driving? The nations' streets and highways are increasingly dangerous, and it continues to show how a shockingly large number of our fellow citizens cannot handle new technology responsibly. We actually have to make laws to force people to stop texting while driving and force people to use hands-free features. That's how unconscious, clueless self-absorbed the average driver is today.
ben 01/29/2010
i raelly do like the 5.0
Michael 01/13/2010
Come on people (Allen, Linda), FORD is getting it done these days and I am very proud to work for them! THE WHOLE SYNC SYSTEM IS VOICE ACTIVATED, YOU SO YOU DO NOT NEED TO TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE ROAD OR YOUR HANDS OFF THE WHEEL TO MAKE FULL USE OF THE SYSTEM!! As to the use of internet, please give the average driver credit, I am certain drivers realize it would be unsafe to use a computer and drive at the same time, but after all please keep in mind ALL cop cars have full sized laptops and internet in them at all times and can make use of the technology in a safe manner. Please also keep in mind in the very near future many of the Ford vehicles will be offering FULL Collision mitigation and prevention systems, therefore it will be nearly impossible to engage in an accident because the car will stop and or correct the steering when the drive makes an error. So please keep an open mind because in about 15 years Fords vehicles may very well be able to drive themselves without the driver needing to do anything other than speak to the car to tell it where you want to go, believe me its being developed right now in fact.

Remember, Ford did not take Ball-OUT funds, and look at them go....... they will be unstoppable, just wait and see with the future Vehicles!!
Allen 01/10/2010
Ford is currently the most forward looking American car company but, like Linda, I am a concerned about driver distraction. The screens I've seen have way too much information being displayed. This wouldn't be a problem for a passenger, but for a driver, it's going to take a while (and eyes off the road) just to see where to place a finger to actuate a control - as there's no tactile feedback that a knob, slider, or physical switch provides.
Remember KISS (Keep it simple stupid) and display only vital information. The screens shared are too complex, containing too much data.
I love the WiFi hotspot for passengers - but again, would enable it only if someone is sitting in a passenger seat.
Linda 01/07/2010
As a result of this MORE DISTRACTION to the driver - I am boycotting All FORD products.

There is NO NEED for a vehicle to provide facebook or any other internet DISTRACTION!

I think this is Absolutely Negligent and NOT very well thought out.
Pete Grasso 01/05/2010
Great feature! What is not clear is will this feature be available in my 2010 F-150?
Bill Tinning 12/28/2009
I hate this blasted FORD commercial that keeps taking over my computer screen, It is a great reason not to ever consider buying a ford product .
This is MY computer and I did not give you permission to tresspass in MY computer .
Tired of you unwelcome interfearence and presence .
Bill T.
Lincoln_1999 12/27/2009
Great feature :) . Ford is clearly ahead of the competition .
bagelboy 12/21/2009
I think with an ac/dc hook up I can finally play MW2 at a bbq. NICE WORK FORD I'LL LEAVE THE HOUSE AGAIN!
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