The latest feature to
be official announced by the Detroit automaker is the addition
of in-car Wi-Fi. By plugging a mobile broadband card, such
as those offered by Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint in the U.S. into the
USB slot of a Ford vehicle with SYNC, a secure Standard WiFi
Protected Access 2 (WPA2) wireless network will be produced.
feature is sure to excite many in the business community (and more
than a few reporters), who can use the service to get work done while
carpooling to events. Ford cites recent studies as indicating
that one in three Americans would like to use in-car Wi-Fi to check
on email or other services when on the go.
Ford describes the
security protocols attached to the new feature, writing:
Using the SYNC WiFi system, a signal will be broadcast
throughout the vehicle. Default security is set to WiFi Protected
Access 2 (WPA2), requiring users to enter a randomly chosen password
to connect to the Internet. When SYNC sees a new WiFi device for the
first time, the driver must specifically allow that device to
connect, preventing unauthorized users from “piggybacking” on the
SYNC provided signal.
DailyTech was on hand at presentations of Ford's upcoming
vehicles and services on Friday, at which the Wi-Fi features were
first unveiled to the press. At one of the presentations Derek
Kuzak, Ford's global vice president of product development, described
Ford's mindset on the new SYNC platform, stating, "Today we are
thinking and behaving like a consumer electronics company.
People line up at midnight for the latest iPhone, or Blackberry.
We want to get that [level of excitement]. That's where SYNC
As more SYNC features are revealed its clear
how seriously Ford took that mindset during the design process.
Along with EcoBoost, the new SYNC should be a key selling point for
Ford going forward, as it looks to continue to swipe
marketshare from GM, Chrysler, and the foreign automakers.