Chrysler Will Offer Wi-Fi in 2009 Models
Stuck in traffic? Be productive while you’re sitting there and look for that special gift on eBay with your in-vehicle wi-fi hotspot…
By Brendan Moore
Chrysler is having an awfully bad year and they’re looking for anything that might perk up sales a little bit. To that end, they will announce tomorrow that wireless internet will be available on almost all of their 2009 models.
Chrysler is calling the technology device UConnect Web, and it will be the first time a manufacturer has offered wireless internet access as OEM equipment. Chrysler currently has a suite of electronic communication and entertainment products called UConnect available in their vehicles, which connect via a Bluetooth connection. The new service addition will allow the use of laptops, Nintendo Wii consoles, wi-fi enabled cell phones, etc. to be used in the Chrysler vehicle.
The wireless Internet will come as a dealer-installed option and will work over 3G cellular telephone links. Besides costing extra (Chrysler wouldn’t say how much until tomorrow), it will come with a monthly fee which has not yet been determined, Chrysler LLC spokesman Todd Goyer said.
Regarding the obvious safety issues, Chrysler has stated that when the car is in motion, the service is intended to be used only by passengers. Chrysler is quick to acknowledge, however, that there is no way to prevent a driver from steering with one hand and shopping on Amazon with the other. Or doing whatever else people do with a laptop, i.e., looking someone up on Google, downloading porn, using Mapquest, emailing, etc. All while driving – think of someone using a cellphone and multiply that level of distraction by a factor of 10.
Which, as you might imagine, is giving traffic safety groups complete fits. The prospect of having people zooming down the highway while trying to surf the internet is disquieting, to say the least. Of course, many of those people will also want to have a cup of coffee or a soda while they’re driving, too. Just like they do now. And don’t forget lunch in the car. The difference is now they will do whatever they do in the car besides drive (drink coffee, put on makeup, talk on the phone, etc.) AND surf the web. I just cannot wait for that.
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