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Print 40 comment(s) - last by Flunk.. on Dec 25 at 10:10 PM

Service is shaping up nicely, though it will require a USB broadband card

Ford's new SYNC is shaping up quite nicely.  With interfaces to mobile apps (allowing realtime stock quotes, social network updates, and more) and many other to-be-announced features, the service should greatly improve over the already impressive current edition

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.

This 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 comes in."

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.



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Only when the vehicle is stopped and in park
By Beenthere on 12/21/2009 11:51:10 AM , Rating: -1
Unless Ford and others are looking for more fatalities, these electronic distractions should only function when the vehicle is stopped and in park with the e-brake applied.




By Brandon Hill (blog) on 12/21/2009 11:56:12 AM , Rating: 2
While I agree in premise, what if the passengers in the car want to use Wi-Fi -- I think that's the whole point of this thing.

I mean, the driver doesn't need it, but I don't see why passengers should be punished from using the service on long trips or whenever they want.


RE: Only when the vehicle is stopped and in park
By Screwballl on 12/21/2009 12:06:29 PM , Rating: 3
Then how hard would it be for seat sensors?

My 2004 Dodge has them for the passenger airbag, if it detect weight from 5-50 pounds then it disables the passenger airbag...

Ford could do the same, if it detects minimum 100 pounds of weight in the passenger seat then enable the wifi while the car is in motion.


RE: Only when the vehicle is stopped and in park
By kkwst2 on 12/21/2009 12:26:20 PM , Rating: 5
It would likely only increase the sales of 100 pound weights.


By sdsdv10 on 12/21/2009 6:44:07 PM , Rating: 2
6, please!


By ThePooBurner on 12/21/2009 1:02:37 PM , Rating: 3
I don't think that is necessary at all. What if your kid wants to play around while you are on the road? or use their ipod touch? Seat weight sensors or even the e-brake thing aren't really practical. It's already against the law in a lot of places to do things like use a laptop, text, watch movies, etc. while driving, so unless you also think every car should have a Breathalyzer car start switch standard i don't think forcing everyone to have to be in park to use it or checking if there are passengers present is necessary.


By AyashiKaibutsu on 12/21/2009 1:55:04 PM , Rating: 2
Because there are no humans you'd want entertained on a long trip that weigh under 100 pounds.


By Flunk on 12/25/2009 10:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
This whole idea is silly, people irresponsible enough to use Wi-Fi while driving are easily irresponsible enough to disable weight sensors (or find someone to do it for them).

The airbag thing only works because no one wants their airbag to go off with less than 100 pounds of person in the passenger seat.


RE: Only when the vehicle is stopped and in park
By jonmcc33 on 12/21/2009 12:52:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
While I agree in premise, what if the passengers in the car want to use Wi-Fi -- I think that's the whole point of this thing.


The driver will always abuse it if the option is available. Drivers have caused accidents while putting a portable DVD player on the dash. Give them WiFi and no doubt they'll put a laptop there instead.

quote:
I mean, the driver doesn't need it, but I don't see why passengers should be punished from using the service on long trips or whenever they want.


That's where family bonding comes into play. It's not about putting the internet/movie on to shut them up.

It's as bad as parents these days that would rather put their kid in front of a TV than take them to the park to play.


RE: Only when the vehicle is stopped and in park
By UNHchabo on 12/21/2009 1:53:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's where family bonding comes into play. It's not about putting the internet/movie on to shut them up.

It's as bad as parents these days that would rather put their kid in front of a TV than take them to the park to play.


What about parents who don't want their kids shouting "ARE WE THERE YET?" because they're bored from the long car ride? Think about it; as a kid were you perfectly behaved when you were in the back seat of a car?

Besides, I can say with certainty that when I was traveling across I-80 with my girlfriend, the scenery was so boring that we would have killed for wifi access for whoever wasn't driving. Most of this country is filled with nothing but corn, cows, or sand.


RE: Only when the vehicle is stopped and in park
By ClownPuncher on 12/21/2009 3:27:54 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, as a child I would not have gotten away with shouting ANYTHING at my parents, especially in a car. A little discipline can go a long way.

Luckily, I grew up in WA state, plenty to look at out the window. If you live in a crappy state, move :)


By UNHchabo on 12/21/2009 3:47:38 PM , Rating: 2
I grew up in an area that's interesting to look at out the window, and I moved across the country to an area that's interesting to look at, but I was talking about my week-long journey out here. Pretty much the entire length of I-80 is boring as hell.


RE: Only when the vehicle is stopped and in park
By Uncle on 12/21/2009 3:17:28 PM , Rating: 2
+100 I agree as soon as I tell my kids to pull the speakers out of their ears, we seem to connect and its amazing the things that they want to talk about when given the chance. Why also dinner together is so important.


RE: Only when the vehicle is stopped and in park
By invidious on 12/21/2009 4:33:40 PM , Rating: 2
I don't need my car company to force me to interact with my family. I am also perfectly capable of deciding when I should and should not be using my phone/laptop. If the state/car company doesn't think I am capable of making my own decisions they should not issue me a licence or sell me a car.

There does not need to be a law or hardware override against doing anything and everything that is considered dangerous or stupid. Reckless driving is against the law, that is a good enough catch all law.


By AEvangel on 12/21/2009 5:52:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't need my car company to force me to interact with my family. I am also perfectly capable of deciding when I should and should not be using my phone/laptop. If the state/car company doesn't think I am capable of making my own decisions they should not issue me a license or sell me a car.


Wow...that sounds too much like responsibility...thinking and acting for myself and then living with the consequences?

quote:
There does not need to be a law or hardware override against doing anything and everything that is considered dangerous or stupid. Reckless driving is against the law, that is a good enough catch all law.


Once again...common sense to the rescue.


By Iaiken on 12/21/2009 3:09:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
the driver doesn't need it


Don't be so sure...

quote:
Nelson! Nelson, I need to come over and use your computer! No, I d- I need to play World of Warcraft! NELSON!


RE: Only when the vehicle is stopped and in park
By bhieb on 12/21/2009 12:39:59 PM , Rating: 2
Your missing the point. You have to plug in your existing cellular USB card anyway. The ONLY thing this does is share that with the passengers.

This is not meant for the driver, and is something that is already widely available. It is just a means to share a connection nothing more.


By Mitch101 on 12/21/2009 4:10:31 PM , Rating: 2
This could be really cool. I have a HAVA at home and my kids could stream video from our DirectTV to the car.

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997














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