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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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.

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