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

06.25.2008

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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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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2 Comments

  1. Gawd. And I thought the Germans were insane for installing take-your-eyes-off-the-road nonsense like iDrive and Comand.

    I can just see it now: the driver plunged his Sebring into the ditch because he was too busy working the mouse.

  2. I swear I have never looked at porn on the internet. Honest.

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