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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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  • Some other subsidy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 21, 2009 @08:50PM (#30518856)

    This is a great idea... except it's in the wrong people's hands.

    With it, I'd like peer2peer like distribution. I know these people, and they write scripts (using google wave), performances - both visual and aural.
    These are the mobile version. The distribution unit can be housed in the bottom of a block of flats.

    This is how my 21st century utopia would begin.

  • Use your imagination (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cryfreedomlove ( 929828 ) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:14PM (#30519018)
    > Unless Wi-Fi is blacked out for the driver, the safety implications of this development are worrisome.

    I'm not the least bit worried. Just think of the apps you can create for the driver if a car were wi-fi connected. Heads up displays for upcoming traffic problems, weather, etc. Constantly upgrade your car's navigation system with updates and patches that download while the car is parked. etc, etc.

    Your fear is based on what you know now. You should instead base your hopes on those good things you can imagine.
  • Re:Leo's new Mustang (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:21PM (#30519058)

    I've been using sync in my 08 focus for over a year now and its really quite badass. hands free voice navigation of my ipod is priceless and frankly a hell of alot safer then fiddling with the ipod to change tunes while playing it via one of those radio adapter or line in thingies. and the phone support is pretty nice too.

  • by wizardforce ( 1005805 ) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:42PM (#30519236) Journal

    Nice try but that car is a Skoda Octavia [] which is made by Skoda Auto not BMW. At the time of the crash, the car was going at nearly 90 mph which was about 3x the speed limit of the area. The driver was in the wrong lane and was intoxicated. The cause of the crash was entirely the fault of the driver not the car its self.

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

    by adolf ( 21054 ) <> on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @04:00AM (#30521410) Journal

    [[citation needed]]

    Voltage dividers, in this application, are only useful when the power is of a fixed (already regulated) voltage. Car batteries are nominally 12V, but charge at somewhere between 13.8 and 14.4V.

    Please show me an example of an example of a modern (say, last 5 years?) cheapass lighter plug charger.

    Disclaimer: Where I work, among our various trades, we sell cellular phones and accessories. We get cheap Chinese chargers for less than $2 each (and mark them up x15, but that's a different story), and inside of each of these little widgets is a tiny switching regulator circuit.

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury