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Wireless Networking Transportation Technology

Ford's New Cars To Be Wi-Fi Hotspots 196

clang_jangle writes "Autoblog and others are reporting on Ford's planned extension to its in-vehicle SYNC multimedia systems — to enable SYNC-equipped Fords as rolling Wi-Fi hotspots. Customers would use their existing cellular USB modems, so for already equipped road warriers there would be no extra monthly charges. While there are other ways to get your car online (Autonet Mobile review here), the SYNC system does look especially simple and practical. Last year BMW made some noise about FOSS for their cars, but they seem to have since stopped talking about it. Will we see a FOSS option for automotive infotainment systems in the future?" The capabilities of SYNC even without W-Fi look potentially pretty distracting. Unless Wi-Fi is blacked out for the driver, the safety implications of this development are worrisome.
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Ford's New Cars To Be Wi-Fi Hotspots

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  • Linked with WiMax? (Score:2, Informative)

    by myfreelunch ( 1705360 ) on Monday December 21, 2009 @08:40PM (#30518782)
    Linked with WiMax, this might be useful. 3G speeds are just too slow.
  • by modmans2ndcoming ( 929661 ) on Monday December 21, 2009 @08:41PM (#30518788)

    sync has built in text to speech and will reply with a set of 15 predefined responses. Sync is much better than standard texting regarding safety.

    Lets also not ignore:

    Auto dial 9/11 when you get in an accident, car health reports, voice only GPS with up to date road conditions and rerouting, Heuristics of said GPS that learns your typical routs, voice commands for making calls, stereo bluetooth support for devices with that capability.... and next year they will open the SDK up, allowing even greater integration between smartphone apps and the sync system through custom apps meant to communicate with the app on the phone.

  • Leo's new Mustang (Score:4, Informative)

    by vrmlguy ( 120854 ) <samwyse@@@gmail...com> on Monday December 21, 2009 @08:46PM (#30518818) Homepage Journal

    Leo Laporte (host of This Week in Tech) recently bought a 2010 SYNC-equipped Mustang, and seems to like it a lot. (Of course, Ford is an advertiser, but otoh he bought the Mustang with his own money.) http://leoville.com/to-the-twitmobile [leoville.com]

  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Monday December 21, 2009 @08:53PM (#30518868)

    Last year BMW made some noise about FOSS for their cars, but they seem to have since stopped talking about it.

    I can't imagine why: http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-41146.html [spiegel.de]

  • Re:Radio condenser (Score:3, Informative)

    by adolf ( 21054 ) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @02:17AM (#30520966) Journal

    Answer to your question: Nothing. The power supply for the radio will inherently be rather well isolated, as it's very easy to do in the conversion from 12V that the car produces to the 5V that the USB radio uses.

    Answers to your quandary: Microwaves the same bit of spectrum that WiFi does, except with something in the neighborhood of 1,000 Watts instead of the ~0.060 Watts that your access point uses; it doesn't take much microwave leakage before interference happens. Try different channels; it sometimes seems to help, often to the point that the symptom goes away completely.

    Furnace: Your blower motors are dirty or tired. They should not create enough RF noise to cause WiFi to notice. A skilled electrician can install a capacitor ("radio condenser") at the furnace, which might help some.

    TV: Who knows. There's a lot of stuff going on in a modern entertainment system, and I won't conject without more information.

    Finally: Do the lights in your house ever get brighter when a heavy load (dishwasher pump, clothes washer, vacuum cleaner, etc) switches on?

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