Driving seems to get more and more dangerous these days with people talking and checking email on their phones, jamming out to music, and doing whatever it is that distracts them from keeping their eyes, and their minds on the road. Several states have already passed laws prohibiting drivers from talking on their phones unless they are using a hands-free device. Imagine how distracted people would be if they had a laptop with Wi-Fi available at their fingertips while they drove. Drivers could download music, and work on tomorrow’s presentation while sitting in traffic. Some drivers already do have this capability if they’re using something like Sprint’s wireless broadband service, but what if the Wi-Fi were to come built-in to vehicles?
Starting with all of their 2009 models of vehicles, Chrysler has confirmed that buyers will now have the option to include the UConnect System in their vehicles which features a 3G-to Wi-Fi router concealed inside the car. Buyers would be required to pay a monthly subscription fee to use the service, and then they’d have wireless Internet at speeds of about 600 to 800 kilobits per second. While these speeds aren’t terrible (it’s better than the original iPhone), it’s still not great either, and certainly not 3G speeds.
Many people feel like they have to be connected at all times which is what Chrysler had in mind when they decided to introduce the technology. Scott Slagle, Chrysler’s senior manager of global marketing strategy said, “It’s a notion of always wanting to be connected wherever you are.” This might be convenient, but imagine how the safety advocates feel about this! Before we know it, there will be new laws completely prohibiting the use of any electronics devices in the car while driving.