Ford Turns Your Car Into a Wifi Hotspot On Wheels

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If you’re one of those people who starts getting all twitchy the moment you’re out of range of a wifi hotspot, we have good news for you: soon, you’ll be connected anywhere you can take a car.

Ford is updating its in-car SYNC with MyFord Touch technology to add a rolling wifi hotspot for passengers to connect to.

It will support up to five connected devices, and will start to appear in new Ford Focus vehicles in the UK next year.

Ford says it’s the first time this kind of network technology has appeared in a standard consumer car.

Before you get too excited, keep in mind that Ford’s system only covers the wireless network between the car and its owner’s devices. It doesn’t include the technology to connect the car to the rest of the Internet. That you’ll have to provide yourself.

The good news is that the system will support various smartphones and 3G data dongles, which many people already have for use with laptop computers. The idea is that when you’re driving, you plug your existing phone or dongle into a port on the dashboard and the car sets up a wireless network for you before you’ve reached the end of the street.

Ford hasn’t said how much this optional extra is going to cost, but heavy data users already know mobile connectivity doesn’t come cheap. If you’re relying on your cell phone company to keep you connected, you’re probably going to have to pay a premium.

It’s nice to see car makers catching up with airlines and extending the net a little further, but I wonder how long it’s going to be before tech like this becomes even simpler and more standardized. Cars with SIM card slots, anyone?

(Via eWeek Europe)

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