Electric Vehicles and the WiFi Revolution

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Tony Santos

Ford Focus Wifi

Electric cars and scooters have become all the rage throughout the world, with more and more consumers willing to pay the higher initial price tag for an electric vehicle for a variety of reasons, whether it’s the prestige of owning the coolest new car or the pride of owning an environmentally-conscious ride. One interesting trend is that more and more manufacturers are including extra bells and whistles into electric cars and scooters, including built-in WiFi technology that lets you do everything from play blackjack online to making hands-free calls from BlueTooth enabled helmets.

Ford is already including WiFi capability into its Ford Focus line (and has plans to do the same with its Ford Focus Electric line), letting owners plug a a USB modem directly into the car’s built-in WiFi system, which is calls Sync. The Sync system then lets all passengers in the car connect to the WiFi network and enjoy online content on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and any other mobile device that can connect via a WiFi signal.

The Sync system can also extend to the driver, as it includes voice and text-to-speech technology that enables drivers to get driving directions, check weather updates, search for addresses of nearby businesses and shops, and make phone calls — all without their hands ever leaving the driving wheel. Autonet Mobile and Waav also provide similar technology that can be incorporated into various cars, but Ford so far has been at the forefront of auto manufacturers that include WiFi technology as an extra add-on incorporated into the vehicle itself.

Peugeot, Smart, Mini and other electric scooter makers are also developing similar technology for electric scooters in urban areas, which will essentially provide mobile WiFi hotspots that let drivers and passengers stay connected even when they’re on the road. While the more obvious benefits include the ability to make phone calls and get driving directions and address information, there’s nothing to prevent gaming fans from getting a few spins in at online slot machines on their smartphone while parked and waiting for friends to arrive, or even by passengers while idling at a stop light.

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