Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Ford Goes Wireless

The new version of Sync broadcasts WiFi in the car.
December 21, 2009

Today Ford announced the second generation of its Sync in-car connectivity system. The biggest feature of the new version: an in-car WiFi system, powered by customer’s USB mobile broadband modem. Using any mobile modem (often known as an “aircard”), the new Sync system will broadcast a WiFi signal throughout the vehicle, giving WiFi-enabled computers and other mobile devices access to the Internet wherever the broadband modem gets a signal.

Inserting a USB mobile broadband modem into Sync’s USB port provides passengers with a secure wireless Internet connection broadcast throughout the car. Courtesy: Ford Motor

The Sync system will provide secure wireless connections, using the WiFi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) protocol. It will require users to enter a randomly chosen password before they can connect to the Internet. When SYNC sees a WiFi device for the first time, the driver has to specifically allow it to connect, preventing unauthorized users from using the signal.

Ford isn’t the first car company to announce in-car WiFi; last year, for example, Chrysler teamed up with Autonet Mobile to offer an built-in WiFi router in most of its 2009 vehicles. That system, however, requires a monthly service fee. The Sync system will rely on customers’ existing mobile broadband services.

As have other car companies, Ford emphasizes that the WiFi system is for use only by passengers … but I’ve already seen drivers in Austin playing with aircard-equipped laptops at stoplights. How long until we’re wondering if the guy weaving in front of us is drunk, on the phone … or surfing the Web?

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Our best illustrations of 2022

Our artists’ thought-provoking, playful creations bring our stories to life, often saying more with an image than words ever could.

How CRISPR is making farmed animals bigger, stronger, and healthier

These gene-edited fish, pigs, and other animals could soon be on the menu.

The Download: the Saudi sci-fi megacity, and sleeping babies’ brains

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. These exclusive satellite images show Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway In early 2021, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia announced The Line: a “civilizational revolution” that would house up…

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.