Add WiFi to the list of options on Chrysler vehicles

To be offered on new cars in September, it relies on 3G

With Wi-Fi already available in many coffee shops and coming soon to some airplanes, it was only a matter of time before a US carmaker started offering Wi-Fi access for automobiles.

Thursday, Chrysler unveiled UConnect Web, an accessory that provides an in-car hot spot that will be available from Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealers starting in September, according to Chrysler's blog site.

The UConnect Web, a wireless router, will connect to a 3G cellular signal allowing passengers in the car to connect to the Internet with Wi-Fi capable devices, including laptops, handhelds, music players and cameras, according to Keefe Leung, manager of advanced connectivity strategies at Chrysler in a video accompanying the blog.

Although Chrysler stressed that the UConnect Web is aimed at passengers, nothing prevents a driver from using the Wi-Fi access as well, causing some concern about another potential distraction for drivers. Already, drivers can be distracted by car radios, cell phones, GPS devices and other hardware, analysts noted.

"I don't think driver distraction by Wi-Fi is a major issue," said analyst Craig Mathias of The Farpoint Group. "It's up to the driver to know his limitations for being distracted. It's like Dirty Harry said, 'You have to know your limitations.'"

The suggested price of the UConnect Web will be US$449, plus about $35 to $50 for installation. Chrysler said Autonet Mobile will offer wireless Internet account service for $29 a month.

Mathias said price will be an issue for some customers, as well as deciding whether it is better to have a Wi-Fi hot spot in the car instead of using a cellular data card for laptop. A cellular data card in a laptop means you can roam beyond the car. "There's no single answer for what's best and it depends on the user," he said. "With so many choices in technology, it is becoming baffling."

Leung said in the video that broadband cellular cards only really work in laptops, but with a Wi-Fi hot spot, a user can connect a wide range of smaller devices, including Wi-Fi capable cameras and music players.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?