Ford, quite possibly the auto brand most associated with the United States, has been developing its lineup in leaps and bounds. And while styling has been across the boards captivating, the real breakthroughs have been in its in-car technology packages. Now, in its push to make the Focus a global car, comes word that in addition to SYNC and MyFord Touch, the car will also have WiFi hotspot capabilities - with roll-out already having started in Europe.
Using an Internet card or tethered smartphone, the system works in conjunction with SYNC and MyFord Touch to share the mobile broadband signal with up to five other devices (used of course by passengers only). Cool stuff indeed, and while we're sure it will eventually be offered here, we can't help but feel a little jealous. Maybe by the time you finish peeping the press release, we'll have more news, but probably not.
FORD DELIVERS ROLLING ONLINE HOT SPOT: ALL-NEW FOCUS TO OFFER WIFI IN 2012 WHEN FORD SYNC LAUNCHES IN THE UK
- Ford SYNC with MyFord Touch featuring WiFi connectivity to debut on new Focus in 2012, signaling a new era of in-car technology in the UK
- SYNC with MyFord Touch will create a password-protected WiFi hotspot inside the vehicle allowing up to five WiFi enabled devices to connect
- Utilising customers' existing USB modem or compatible Smartphone* will mean no subscription and no additional expense
Brentwood, Essex, 3 MAY 2011– The all-new Ford Focus will be transformed into a rolling WiFi hot spot when Ford SYNC with MyFord Touch technology makes its UK debut next year.
Ford Focus owners will be the first in the UK to benefit from SYNC's class-leading connectivity, which will be rolled out to several other Ford vehicles following its debut on the new global C-segment model.
By using an owners' existing USB modem or Smartphone, the SYNC-equipped Focus will be able to deliver a secure wireless connection that can be broadcast throughout the vehicle. Passengers with any WiFi-enabled device can then easily connect and access the internet. All this allows for simple, easy to use WiFi connectivity on the move for up to five devices.
Using SYNC's far reaching connectivity potential, Ford will offer individuals and families a level of in-car internet access that was until recently only available to the owners of considerably more expensive vehicles.
In-car internet access is no longer only demanded by chauffeur-driven executives. The increasing availability and popularity of WiFi compatible devices means that, as long as there is a data connection brought into the car, Ford passengers will be able to stay in contact with friends, keep abreast of the news and even play the latest games on the move and at all times.
"Ford is an automaker that is quickly becoming a personal technology company as well," says Christof Kellerwessel, chief engineer for electronic and electrical systems. "We're finding that Ford customers are tech savvy and – while travelling as passengers in cars – they want to be able to use their WiFi enabled devices while on the move.
"A reliable in-car internet connectionis therefore extremely important to them, and that's exactly what SYNC will offer when it makes its UK debut on the Ford Focus in 2012. SYNCwith MyFord Touch will offer rolling connectivity to Ford customers and everyone in a SYNC-equipped car can benefit at no additional expense."
Upgradeable and secure
One of the main advantages of the SYNC with MyFord Touch WiFi system is that it will allow customers to make use of a variety of USB devices, eliminating the need to purchase specifically compatible equipment. SYNC will use software updates to ensure it remains compatible with the latest hardware and devices, so customers can be sure that their SYNC-equipped vehicles will always allow them to make use of whatever USB mobile broadband modem or smartphone they are using – even devices that have yet to go on the market.
"We knew from the beginning that our connectivity solution would have to keep pace with the rapid advancement of consumer electronics and be flexible and upgradeable in order to remain useful to customers for as long as they own their vehicles," Kellerwessel said.
SYNC's WiFi capability will be a user-friendly solution to connecting Ford vehicles to the internet on the move. When it arrives on the new Ford Focus in 2012, the factory-installed system will seamlessly integrate the hardware into the vehicle, unlike internet connection systems from some manufacturers that require a bolt-in receiver and transmitter. With no subscription fee and the ability to provide a secure WiFi connection for up to five devices, SYNC with MyFord Touch will make the Ford Focus the best connected vehicle in its class.
"Because it will be able to make use of a customer's existing USB modem device or obtain a connection through a smartphone connected via Bluetooth, SYNC will offer the best value and flexibility for Ford customers," Kellerwesselsaid.
Using the SYNC WiFi system, a signal will be broadcast throughout the vehicle. Default security is set to WiFi Protected Access 2 (WPA2), requiring users to enter a randomly chosen password to connect to the internet. When SYNC sees a new WiFi device for the first time, the driver must specifically allow that device to connect, preventing unauthorised users from "piggybacking" on the SYNC-provided signal.