Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Ford's New Cars To Be Wi-Fi Hotspots

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the high-speed-internet dept.

Wireless Networking 196

clang_jangle writes "Autoblog and others are reporting on Ford's planned extension to its in-vehicle SYNC multimedia systems — to enable SYNC-equipped Fords as rolling Wi-Fi hotspots. Customers would use their existing cellular USB modems, so for already equipped road warriers there would be no extra monthly charges. While there are other ways to get your car online (Autonet Mobile review here), the SYNC system does look especially simple and practical. Last year BMW made some noise about FOSS for their cars, but they seem to have since stopped talking about it. Will we see a FOSS option for automotive infotainment systems in the future?" The capabilities of SYNC even without W-Fi look potentially pretty distracting. Unless Wi-Fi is blacked out for the driver, the safety implications of this development are worrisome.

cancel ×

196 comments

This is different how? (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518720)

This isn't really that much different than what's available presently. The same idiots that text and drive will have a new possibility. Anybody with any degree of prudence will use this at most to update directions on their GPS in real time. Well, while driving, when you're not driving it's pretty much fair game for whatever you want to use it for.

Re:This is different how? (3, Informative)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518788)

sync has built in text to speech and will reply with a set of 15 predefined responses. Sync is much better than standard texting regarding safety.

Lets also not ignore:

Auto dial 9/11 when you get in an accident, car health reports, voice only GPS with up to date road conditions and rerouting, Heuristics of said GPS that learns your typical routs, voice commands for making calls, stereo bluetooth support for devices with that capability.... and next year they will open the SDK up, allowing even greater integration between smartphone apps and the sync system through custom apps meant to communicate with the app on the phone.

Re:This is different how? (2, Funny)

trapnest (1608791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518988)

9/11 is a date.
911 is a phone number.

Re:This is different how? (4, Funny)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519000)

9/11 is a date. 911 is a phone number.

Go easy on him. He's from a Red state.

Re:This is different how? (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519056)

You can tell he's Russian?

Re:This is different how? (3, Funny)

trapnest (1608791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519142)

It's not nice to call someone communist just because they made a mistake in typing. :(

Re:This is different how? (1)

ogl_codemonkey (706920) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519546)

What's wrong with being a communist?

Re:This is different how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30519804)

He said red, not blue.

Re:This is different how? (1)

Inner_Child (946194) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519930)

He said communist, not socialist.

Re:This is different how? (2, Funny)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519032)

Was that the best you could do? I would have at least mocked him by saying "Ford now allows time travel?".

Re:This is different how? (1)

trapnest (1608791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519158)

I guess I normally don't associate "dialing" with time travel.

Re:This is different how? (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519370)

> I guess I normally don't associate "dialing" with time travel.

some Stargate fans might do ! ;-)

Re:This is different how? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519412)

Stargate +Solar Flare = fixed that for you

Re:This is different how? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519868)

9/11 is a date.
911 is a phone number.

Hand in your geek card, dude. 9/11 is zero (or if you're a mathematician, it's a rational number).

Re:This is different how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30520020)

only if you don't know how to use basic calculator (programmers calculator in fact shows 0)
9/11 = 0.8181818181818181818 ...

maybe I missed the joke?

Re:This is different how? (3, Funny)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519346)

> Heuristics of said GPS that learns your typical routs

What's the use of this feature ?

I mean if I already know the route, what is the advantage of teaching it to the GPS ?

I assumed that one typically wanted the GPS to show him the route to follow, not the other way around ;-))

Thinking of it, this may be useful if you are getting old and/or beginning to forget your routes, teach them to the GPS while you still can ;-)

Re:This is different how? (1)

sleeper0 (319432) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519444)

Probably helpful to the thief if your car is stolen, they can head right to your house while you're still trying to find out if it's been towed even if you don't actively tell the car where your home is.

Re:This is different how? (1)

TBoon (1381891) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519676)

I assumed that one typically wanted the GPS to show him the route to follow, not the other way around ;-)

My Garmin has built in bluetooth handsfree and MP3 player. On familiar routes that is my primary use for the unit, with the safety camera warnings and trip-data as nice secondary features. It is quite annoying to have the GPS tell me to turn around so I can make a turn that would take me 15 minutes extra. (My arrival estimate actually drops when it gives up and eventually agrees with my route). I actually see no reason why (higher end) offline units can't do the same. However, with an online unit gathering *anonymous* user-tracks, it could improve the accuracy of the routing for when you actually need it to tell you how to get to somewhere you've never been before.

Re:This is different how? (1)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519808)

Traffic.

Re:This is different how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30518928)

Text and drive, talk and drive, Play WoW and drive, whatever. I'm trying to figure out how to get my horn to blare, "HANG THE FUCK UP AND DRIVE!" since I only seem to use it in conjunction with one of the aforementioned anymore.

Re:This is different how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30519026)

It's sort of ironic that the frosty piss post is modded as redundant even though it's first and actually more meaningful that frosty piss.

safe? (2, Funny)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518740)

combined with this product [amazon.com] , what's the problem?

Re:safe? (1)

gearloos (816828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518838)

Hehe now thats some funny ass stuff right there. Bad thing is I can see some bonehead using that steering wheel desk!

Re:safe? (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518890)

That product is easy to mock, but detractors don't seem to realize that it's perfectly reasonable to stop the car and pull out a laptop. You might want a good place to put it.

HEY YOU FUCKING NIGGERS!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30518756)

What's the most confusing day in Harlem? Father's day! Really, how do these fat disgusting hoes with shitty attitudes keep getting knocked up?

Linked with WiMax? (2, Informative)

myfreelunch (1705360) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518782)

Linked with WiMax, this might be useful. 3G speeds are just too slow.

Re:Linked with WiMax? (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518884)

You don't use 3G, do you? I typically get around 120-160 KB / sec with 3G.

Re:Linked with WiMax? (1)

trapnest (1608791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519022)

Even on EDGE (T-Mobile) the speed is more then enough for basic tasks. (IM, IRC, email, weather, checking slashdot... Not likely to get first post though... )

Re:Linked with WiMax? (1)

WoLpH (699064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519258)

3G too slow? I get over 500KiB/s when downloading something in the train here. When it comes down to basic surfing, anything beyond 2Mbps is good enough for me.

What the hell is a "road warrier"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30518806)

Thet is wot I cowl bed spilling.

Leo's new Mustang (3, Informative)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518818)

Leo Laporte (host of This Week in Tech) recently bought a 2010 SYNC-equipped Mustang, and seems to like it a lot. (Of course, Ford is an advertiser, but otoh he bought the Mustang with his own money.) http://leoville.com/to-the-twitmobile [leoville.com]

Re:Leo's new Mustang (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30519058)

I've been using sync in my 08 focus for over a year now and its really quite badass. hands free voice navigation of my ipod is priceless and frankly a hell of alot safer then fiddling with the ipod to change tunes while playing it via one of those radio adapter or line in thingies. and the phone support is pretty nice too.

god damn self driving cars (5, Funny)

earls (1367951) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518822)

The god damn mother fucking cars should talk to each other with their fucking radios and space the fuck out . What the fuck is so fucking hard about this and or not typing profFUCK anyway then you don't need stop lights. the driver can just sit back. the fucking gps/laser range/wireless car comm drives thef ucking car fuck

Re:god damn self driving cars (5, Funny)

Chrutil (732561) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518966)

Dude, decaf.

Re:god damn self driving cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30519936)

Maybe he just needs to get fucked...

Re:god damn self driving cars (1)

citab (1677284) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519024)

wow, maybe someone needs to program the nearest "AA" meeting location into the GPS of their Self-Driving Car and let it take them there.

Re:god damn self driving cars (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519520)

wow, maybe someone needs to program the nearest "AA" meeting location into the GPS of their Self-Driving Car and let it take them there.

Frankly, I think couple of brews are exactly what this guy needs.

Re:god damn self driving cars (2, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519852)

I think he'd be better off at a TA meeting (Tourette's Anonymous).

Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (2, Insightful)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518830)

Seriously, what good is this to anyone? if you're in the car you would just use your SIM-locked USB modem that you pay 59.99 a month for and if you are outside the car then you would hardly stay connected long enough to send an email before the car you are stealing bandwidth from goes out of range.

I never quite understood this idea behind putting the latest technological gimmick into a car. 802.11g will be obsolete in a few years, 802.11n soon after. The car should last 20 years so that means half way through its expected service life the wifi, the USB connection and the built-in GPS will be almost completely worthless.

If i want my car to have a Wifi AP I will throw my own wifi equipment in the back. same with phones, GPS, all that stuff. Give me a bare minimum car such as the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrightspeed_X1 [wikipedia.org] Wrightspeed X1 but with the most efficient power system, the best batteries available and the highest quality components that won't break. Not putting worthless consumer electronic gimmicks onto a chassis that is supposed to last 20 years.

Re:Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (0, Flamebait)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518878)

Since when do American cars made since 1980 last 20 years?

Re:Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (2, Insightful)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518910)

I should add, I agree with your sentiment entirely. I always get a kick out of ads that portray having a ipod dock or a 1/8" audio jack to be the main selling point of a $30k vehicle.
Completely ridiculous.

Re:Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519064)

1. Agreeing with yourself? Nice.

2. You'd be shocked at how shallow a lot of car buyers are. They go onto the lot not knowing what they want other than "a new car". You and me, well we'd do some research beforehand, but not everyone. The wealthier the buyer, the less they research. I can well understand getting a car with an iPod dock being the deciding factor - when you can have any car, the most important thing is to be trendy. And hell, you'll just get another new car next year, or the year after at most. It's one of the many destructive characteristics of inherited wealth (we used to call these folks aristocrats, but now they're called trust fundies or whatever), not caring what you spend because you didn't earn any of it anyway. I mean, can you imagine an aristocrat crowing about how much money she saved on a reliable vehicle that got 5 stars in Consumer Reports? Hell no! Now imagine the same person taking her friend for a ride and exultantly saying, "Check this out - a slot for my iPod! And they had just the color that I wanted!"

Working class people shop for cars by what they can afford per month, the unfortunate saps.

Re:Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519460)

I would assume he meant he was agreeing with with his GP, not with himself.

Re:Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30519082)

I'm still driving an 88. It might be because I'm cheap, but I still get 30mpg and don't see the point of these newer cars that can't match that.

Re:Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519108)

I have a 1983 Jeep CJ7 that still runs well, but that be a little close for the margin though.

Re:Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519682)

The CJs aren't much different from the jeeps fielded in WWII, so I think that exempts them from post-1980, whether manufactured then or not. if that makes sense. ;-)

Re:Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30520074)

The AMC Jeeps in general are very sturdy and easy to keep running, but parts are like a mix-mash of GM and Ford. The Chrysler Jeeps on the other hand are more "delicate". I think it was by having made them from military vehicle designs kept them sturdy. They also happen to be really good for offroad for that reason too.

Re:Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518882)

The car should last 20 years

You've obviously never owned a Ford. I'd be willing to bet current wireless standards will be around longer than most new Fords.

Re:Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30519310)

You've obviously never owned a Ford. I'd be willing to bet current wireless standards will be around longer than most new Fords.

Modern Fords have higher initial quality ratings higher than Toyota's. Try to keep up with the times.

Re:Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519578)

You've obviously never owned a Ford. I'd be willing to bet current wireless standards will be around longer than most new Fords.

Modern Fords have higher initial quality ratings higher than Toyota's. Try to keep up with the times.

Factory Outlet Rolling Defects? Toy Autos?

Re:Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30518888)

Do you honestly believe that the best batteries available today won't be considered worthless in 10 years? There is no technology that is in a car today that is going to be anything more than a joke in the 20 years span your talking about. I'll go as far as to say that 802.11n will still be more respectable in 20 years than anything you'll put in a car today.

Re:Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518916)

Why does everyone (including manufacturers) suppose the only upgradeable component of a car's electronic system should be the radio? What's the harm in allowing the wireless module to be replaced with a better one in a few years?

Re:Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30518978)

You live somewhere without road salt.

Re:Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519014)

if you are outside the car then you would hardly stay connected long enough to send an email before the car you are stealing bandwidth from goes out of range.

Not necessarily [allworldcars.com] .

Re:Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519104)

Ever heard of after market upgrades? Custom kits? Replacement electronics? It's an industry in the billions.

Re:Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519170)

Seriously, what good is this to anyone? if you're in the car you would just use your SIM-locked USB modem that you pay 59.99 a month for and if you are outside the car then you would hardly stay connected long enough to send an email before the car you are stealing bandwidth from goes out of range

Forgot to add this in my other post. Anyway, what about car pools? Multiple passengers with laptops sharing the same modem. How about devices that have Wi-fi but no practical USB port? Book readers, MP3, PSP/DS, XBox/PS3/Wii...

Re:Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519278)

for those situations wouldn't a portable device with similar wifi/3G functionality be more useful than something that is for some reason permanently attached to a car?

Re:Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519350)

Equivalent in functionality yea, but not "set and forget" though. I think it appeals to the appliance mindset: always available. My car has a built in radio even though I could easily bring my own radio. It's convenient not having to worry about it and knowing it's always there. Also if the car is a company car, no one has to worry about who has the Wifi/3g thingy or chase down the person who has it.

Re:Worthless gimmicks for worthless cars (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519540)

If i want my car to have a Wifi AP I will throw my own wifi equipment in the back

Not much equipment needed. Personally, I just take my rooted G1 running Cyanogenmod and run any of a number of WAP apps. For that matter, the Cyanogenmod firmware has USB tethering built-in.

Some other subsidy (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30518856)

This is a great idea... except it's in the wrong people's hands.

With it, I'd like peer2peer like distribution. I know these people, and they write scripts (using google wave), performances - both visual and aural.
These are the mobile version. The distribution unit can be housed in the bottom of a block of flats.

This is how my 21st century utopia would begin.

Re:Some other subsidy (1)

citab (1677284) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519052)

Auto Porn? Now I'm listening (not actually watching, can't do that while driving)

plus ...
I can see people might be a little interested at first..
Then kinda warm up to it...
and start really liking it...

then OMG THIS IS THE BEST STUFF EVER!!! ..

then lose all interest and turn the radio back to NPR.

BMW's trials . . . (2, Informative)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518868)

Last year BMW made some noise about FOSS for their cars, but they seem to have since stopped talking about it.

I can't imagine why: http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-41146.html [spiegel.de]

Re:BMW's trials . . . (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519008)

erm... isn't that a skoda?

yeah, woosh...

Re:BMW's trials . . . (3, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519236)

Nice try but that car is a Skoda Octavia [wikipedia.org] which is made by Skoda Auto not BMW. At the time of the crash, the car was going at nearly 90 mph which was about 3x the speed limit of the area. The driver was in the wrong lane and was intoxicated. The cause of the crash was entirely the fault of the driver not the car its self.

who let the driver behind the wheel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30519464)

the car

Re:who let the driver behind the wheel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30519926)

The whiskey bottle let driver drink it. The driver's shoes let the driver get into the car in the first place and the road let the driver drive on it.

Radio condenser (2, Insightful)

greyhueofdoubt (1159527) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518918)

I seem to recall that my older Honda had something called a 'radio condenser' or something similar linked in with the electrical system. It was supposed to stop the EMF from the spark plugs/solenoids/etc and if I recall correctly from my old haynes guide, the car wouldn't start without it.

So this is just a question for anyone who works in the field: what effect, if any, does broadcasting and drawing current from a car's electrical system have on these hotspots?

I'm just curious because the wireless things in my house seem to slow down all the time for things like my microwave, furnace, tv, etc being on.

-b

Re:Radio condenser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30519038)

A "condenser" is just an old name for a capacitor. Its purpose was just to prevent spikes in the electrical system, which disrupt AM radio. (FM radio isn't really affected as much.)

As for your question, probably not much. Radio waves from sparks tends to be very broad in frequency, but not that intense. It'd probably be below the noise floor for a sophisticated modulation like the spread spectrum used by WiFi devices.

Understanding Wi-Fi fail (4, Insightful)

anglophobe_0 (1383785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518924)

How the heck would you black out wi-fi for the driver? Cone of silence, engage! Besides, when I use my laptop while driving, I sit it on the passenger seat anyway. :P Also, the same people who would be guilty of "distracted driving" with wi-fi are the ones who do it with their phone. Take away their phone, they'll read a book (I've seen this). Take away the book, they'll get so engrossed in talking with their passenger, they don't pay attention. The best method of protecting other drivers is to get people to pay more attention to driving than anything else, not take away everything else. There'll always be some distraction you can't take away.

Re:Understanding Wi-Fi fail (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519192)

Besides, when I use my laptop while driving, I sit it on the passenger seat anyway.

How do you reach the pedals?

Re:Understanding Wi-Fi fail (1)

anglophobe_0 (1383785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519212)

Mayhaps "set" would have been a better choice than "sit".

Re:Understanding Wi-Fi fail (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519240)

How the heck would you black out wi-fi for the driver? Cone of silence, engage! Besides, when I use my laptop while driving, I sit it on the passenger seat anyway. :P Also, the same people who would be guilty of "distracted driving" with wi-fi are the ones who do it with their phone. Take away their phone, they'll read a book (I've seen this). Take away the book, they'll get so engrossed in talking with their passenger, they don't pay attention. The best method of protecting other drivers is to get people to pay more attention to driving than anything else, not take away everything else. There'll always be some distraction you can't take away.

Proposed solution: don't try to stop them. Just pass a law stating that if you cause an accident (i.e. it is your fault) and there is evidence that willful/preventable driver distraction was a factor, you lose your license for ten years with no exceptions and no possibility to obtain it sooner than those ten years, no matter how minor or major that accident was. Now if we can also get something like this for tailgaters who rear-end the guy in front of them (easily the most preventable and most stupid accident you could ever have), we'd have a good thing going.

Re:Understanding Wi-Fi fail (0)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519290)

As long as you are prepared for the economic collapse that will happen when every single driver who has a radio in their car loses their license.

Re:Understanding Wi-Fi fail (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519694)

As long as you are prepared for the economic collapse that will happen when every single driver who has a radio in their car loses their license.

This is effectively a claim that such a law would have no deterrent effect. I know of no evidence for that claim and any measurable deterrent caused by any traffic law would contradict it. It stands to reason that holding people accountable for such a blatant disregard for the safety of others could only reduce this behavior.

To put it another way, anyone who thinks their 'Net access is more important than the safety of others around them is being extremely selfish. Selfish people are already demonstrating that any arguments about the harm they cause others are ineffective on them. What is effective against selfish people is the knowledge that they will be held personally responsible for their actions.

Besides, getting bad drivers off the road and with them, the accidents that they cause and all the lost productivity associated with that might help the economy. To suggest the opposite, that the autobody repair work and hospital/funeral expenses that go with those accidents is helping anyone would be an example of the broken window fallacy.

Furthermore, there is such a thing as public transportation.

One more thing. Just because you have a radio does not mean it must distract you while driving. It's abundantly possible to adjust the radio while you're stopped at a traffic light, parked, etc. It's also possible to be familiar with a radio's controls so that you can adjust it by touch alone without ever taking your eyes off of the road (good luck doing that with a Web browser -- makes me wonder why you mention radios). If you absolutely must adjust your radio and simply cannot wait, and you know it will be a distraction, you can pull over or something. That's an incredibly minor inconvenience compared to trying to sleep at night with the knowledge that someone got hurt (or worse) because you couldn't be bothered.

Re:Understanding Wi-Fi fail (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519740)

As long as you are prepared for the economic collapse that will happen when every single driver who has a radio in their car loses their license.

Sorry to reply twice. Sometimes I wish Slashdot had an edit feature.

Note that I said such a loss of licenses would occur only after your distracted driving has caused an accident that is your fault. Those who can deal with radios/etc without causing accidents would have nothing to fear. Those who cannot can either refrain from messing with their electronic devices or can choose to do so while the vehicle is not moving. Seems really simple to me.

Besides, look at it from the perspective of the other party. Why should I have my car smashed up and why should I be injured or worse because of someone else's willful and preventable negligence? Why would it be unjust for that kind of negligence to carry a high price tag?

Re:Understanding Wi-Fi fail (1)

anglophobe_0 (1383785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519986)

The problem with your idea is that it is based on a foundation of personal responsibility. That hasn't been much of a factor is American life since the New Deal.

Re:Understanding Wi-Fi fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30519714)

Besides, when I use my laptop while driving, I sit it on the passenger seat anyway.

In the US, most if not all states have laws against having equipment like a TV or laptop in the front part of the car. At least if it's turned on. Some have laws where the device must be out of reach even if it's off. So good luck with your distracted driving, you're just asking for a serious fine.

There are exceptions for some devices but probably a lot of the in-dash DVD and even GPS devices are technically breaking the law. Which means your insurance might not cover you if anything happens.

Ok, how the hell do you manage that? (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518938)

Unless Wi-Fi is blacked out for the driver, the safety implications of this development are worrisome.

Good grief. Yes - by all means, let's put the driver in a freaking faraday cage so they don't surf porn while they drive. That will make the world safe from the abomination that is mobile internet.

The only worrisome thing on the road to me is the judgment of the people around me. The idiots who can't read the "keep left" signs on the on ramp. Those people. Deal with them first - then you won't need the faraday cage.

How funny (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518970)

Over 12 years ago, I was part of a company that was going to do this concept for Buses in the Denver basin (RTD). The idea was to have one hotspot on the bus, and another doing the link. Then then we were to be given access to the Public Service lights to rig up more hotspots. Sadly, we turned it down.

Typo in headline: (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30518980)

Correct headline: “Ford's New Cars To Be Wi-Fi Hackspots ”

I want it to my car's stereo! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30518996)

Not for driving, but when my car is parked in my garage, the only currently way I have to copy MP3s to it is to stick them on a USB stick and walk them down there.

Why isn't my car stereo having 802.11 and letting me scp files over to it from my home network? I could then select whatever mp3s I wanted to listen to that week from my computer, or heck, even set up a cron job to rotate through my collection each night.

Maybe there are some head units which support this, but mine doesn't (it's about 1 year old, Pioneer model).

Use your imagination (2, Interesting)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519018)

> Unless Wi-Fi is blacked out for the driver, the safety implications of this development are worrisome.

I'm not the least bit worried. Just think of the apps you can create for the driver if a car were wi-fi connected. Heads up displays for upcoming traffic problems, weather, etc. Constantly upgrade your car's navigation system with updates and patches that download while the car is parked. etc, etc.

Your fear is based on what you know now. You should instead base your hopes on those good things you can imagine.

Re:Use your imagination (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519208)

What use is a wifi hotspot without an uplink?

Re:Use your imagination (1)

dintlu (1171159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519582)

Cell plans might become simple data contracts in the near future, and if that happens cell providers will have no problem with letting you run up your bill by tethering. Even if they don't, there are other possibilities:

An ad-hoc network of cars communicating information in real-time about the traffic ahead, able to inform drivers about the average congestion speed so that traffic jams clear up ten times faster?

Social driving, you can cuss out the asshole who cut you off as he speeds away from you, have a good morning chat with people you recognize in other cars along the commute?

Re:Use your imagination (1)

vanyel (28049) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519606)

Come back from a quick trip to pick something up:

Driver to car: start
car to driver: Please wait, download 1% finished estimated time 20 minutes...

Re:Use your imagination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30519742)

Don't worry, I'm sure if the stack was FOSS we wouldn't be worrying so much about the safety implications.

Re:Use your imagination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30520062)

"Your fear is based on what you know now. You should instead base your hopes on those good things you can imagine."

Wow, you must be a Democrat.

But seriously, I can see that ads now: "Want to be a lethal danger on the roadway? There's an app. for that!"
 

Shoutcast in my car, can it be done cheapish? (1)

Tynin (634655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519074)

Having a wifi in my car sounds interesting. But I cannot imagine you'd keep a good connection while driving around. Is anyone aware of a solution of getting a shoutcast stream to play in a car that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? Their is simply no industrial / ebm / futurepop music on the air in the US, not even satellite radio carries any (last I checked, please tell me if anyone knows if that has changed), I just want to be able to listen to Digital Gunfire [digitalgunfire.com] in my car. I keep asking Santa to bring me this tech, but each year its just more coal.

Re:Shoutcast in my car, can it be done cheapish? (1)

Puls4r (724907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519326)

Really? That's interesting. I just drove all the way across the state of Michigan, from Port Huron to Grand Rapids, and was streaming video and downloading files using my Sprint USB mobile broadband. All so we could get ready for a robotics presentation we needed to do. No black outs, no lost connections, I had 60-100% connection the whole time. I would imagine 3g coverage in well-covered high-density cities would be even better.

Re:Shoutcast in my car, can it be done cheapish? (1)

Tynin (634655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519698)

128 kilobyte stream is 131,072 bytes/s. Listening to music to and from work is a 60 minute round trip 5 days a week.

131072 * 60 seconds * 60 minutes * 5 days * 4 weeks = 9,437,184,000 bytes for the month = 8.789 gigabytes of data usage. This doesn't count the weekends or before/after work activities that involve driving.

Sprints $60 a month mobile broadband plan only allows 5 gigabytes of transfer, then it is $0.05/megabyte. That leaves me with 3879.93 megabytes (i.e. the remaining 3.789 gigabytes) of transfer at .05/megabyte for the price of $193.99. So to get a 128kb stream of music for 20 hours a month would cost me $253.99. Like I mentioned, I'm interested in something cheapish. But not something that is going to be a reoccurring cost of $3047.96 a year.

I honestly hope their is something wrong with my math that someone can point out. I'd really like to be wrong and find out I misplaced the decimal. If not, does anyone else have a cheaper suggestion?

Re:Shoutcast in my car, can it be done cheapish? (1)

rantingkitten (938138) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519590)

Allow me to shamelessly plug my own station (in my sig) if you're into that type of music.

That said, my friend brought my station up on his iPhone. Seems to me that'd be a way to do it -- stream it on a phone and plug that into your head unit's aux jack.

Re:Shoutcast in my car, can it be done cheapish? (1)

Tynin (634655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519968)

Thanks for the link, I'll have to give you a listen :)

Wardriving for the Rest of Us (0)

bistromath007 (1253428) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519206)

I can't think of anything else to type, but the title is really good enough.

Re:Wardriving for the Rest of Us (1)

bistromath007 (1253428) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519238)

Aw man, and I just realized that this could give rise to the practice of "warsitting." Why couldn't I think of that earlier?

WTF? (5, Insightful)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519246)

Unless Wi-Fi is blacked out for the driver, the safety implications of this development are worrisome.

Seriously, kdawson, WTF is the above supposed to mean? WiFi is a wireless connection system. How the FUCK is the driver going to be distracted by a 2400mHz radio signal? This isn't like a TV on the dashboard, or a GPS full of fiddly touch screens, it's a bloody network standard. Even assuming that WiFi to the driver is somehow distracting (maybe a netbook balanced on the steering wheel) how the hell do you suggest they "[black it] out for the driver"? Magic radio curtains? A WEP key that randomly scrambles when you put the car in gear and appears somewhere the driver can't see it?

Give up the attempts at clever editorializing. You don't have the gray matter for it.

Bad Idea? (1)

Efialtis (777851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519266)

Is there anyone else that thinks this is a BAD IDEA? We already have people crashing and killing each-other because of distracted driving... do we need to add to that with giving them something like this?

Hello, dealership? Can I have the service dept? (1)

Glasswire (302197) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519554)

Problem? Yes, I'm getting a failure to establish my IPSEC tunnel from the car router to my fixed site and I don't seem to be able to setup for WPA2 enterprise authenticated clients and... hello? hello?

R.I.P. Self-Control? (1)

InsertCleverUsername (950130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519756)

Yeah... all the technology could be distracting. As an adult you kind of need to have some self-control and the sense to avoid doing stupid things that could get you killed or injured, like texting while adjusting the radio while eating while driving a speeding ton of metal down the road.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...