Ford to Enable Wi-Fi in Autos

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If you thought that DVD players and texting were dangerous distractions for drivers, wait until you see people streaming television shows on Hulu during their morning commute. Ford has announced a new feature for upcoming car models that will allow owners to turn their cars into mobile Wi-Fi hotspots.

The next generation of Ford’s SYNC technology will provide a USB port in the console of the car that will accept USB mobile broadband modems that people normally use to get Internet connections on laptops that aren’t near a Wi-Fi hotspot. These mobile broadband modems are available from most major mobile networks and use cell network signals to connect to the Internet. By plugging the modem into your Ford car, the internal Wi-Fi module can take the mobile Internet signal and rebroadcast it as a Wi-Fi signal for any device that can use Wi-Fi.

This feature makes it possible for an entire family to use their devices while in the car, even if they only have one mobile broadband modem.

"While you're driving to grandma's house, your spouse can be finishing the holiday shopping and the kids can be chatting with friends and updating their Facebook profiles," said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. "And you're not paying for yet another mobile subscription or piece of hardware because Ford will let you use technology you already have."

Of course, Verizon and Sprint already offer broadband modems that can serve as “mobile hotspots” and which can be used by multiple devices at once, but Ford’s move aims to make Internet access in automobiles more convenient and widespread.

Wi-Fi-enabled Ford vehicles will have secure connections (using WiFi Protected Access 2, or WPA2, protection) so only those with permission will be able to use the signal as you drive (alleviating the pesky problem of fellow motorists tailing your car in order to steal your Wi-Fi signal; you laugh, but welcome to the 21st century).

Ford said the technology should be available in cars sometime next year but gave no further details.

This article was provided by TopTenREVIEWS.