back to article Chrysler shoves hotspots into hot rods

Chrysler is to offer a Wi-Fi hotspot in next year's Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep models, allowing passengers in the car to surf the information superhighway while struck in traffic on the real one. The technology comes from Autonet Mobile, and comprises a Wi-Fi access point connected to a 3G telephone network. Chrysler reckons it' …


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  1. Mike

    Oh god

    That's all we need, someone stuck in traffic playing WoW (I'm talking about the driver, not the passenger). Talking on a cell phone is bad enough while driving, this is going to be totally crazy.

  2. soaklord


    "Chrysler does emphasise that the system is designed for use by passengers. In our experience few Dodges or Jeeps actually carry passengers, but those other seats must be there for some reason."

    If that isn't the truth! The only thing worse is a four door pick up truck... Air Hauler with Cabin Expansion Enabled for maximum capacity with minimal actual application...

    As for the wifi... wouldn't it be cheaper to buy a data package from your cell provider? For the overall cost, including data, you could get an iPhone (holds up shield of fire protection +5) or Windows Mobile phone and a great data package. And if you set it up as a walking wifi as article suggests, your passengers still get to surf...

    I can just see a scrum of cars refusing to go any faster than the trapped in Chrysler...

    "Honey, why is that pack of cars moving so damn slow?"

    "Dear, they are all using that 300C's wifi connection to surf the web"

    Question... How many lanes away can I surf from?

    Hmm... An always on webcam... better yet, more than one. A front facing that broadcasts your drive to and a rear facing one that broadcasts to and maybe even an internal one that you can turn on and broadcast to

    Mine's the one with the sniffer in the pocket.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bound to happen

    Having returned from 3 weeks on the west coast of the USA, I think it is a certainty that there will be drivers playing WoW at the wheel. Surprised they haven't figured out already how to do it.

    Saw one driver reading a book whilst exceeding the speed limit. WoW - why not?

  4. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Clarification for Transparency

    Just what the Doctor Ordered. ..... for Global Operating Devices not for Oh god, Mike.

  5. daniel


    I think we can all see this one going wrong!

  6. spegru

    Mobile Hotspots

    Not sure that a car is the best place for these - at least in the driver's seat (!), but the concept of a WIFI hotspot connected to a 3G mobile connection seems quite compelling. will certainly stop the extortionate rates charged in hotels and airports. i can even imagine a cottage industry popping up. Rent a wifi from just about anywhere!

    In cars? well at least it will keep the kids quiet!

  7. Anonymous Coward


    So now you can go wardriving without moving... Let the wi-fi come to you!

  8. J. Cook Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    @amanfrommars - making sense?!

    amanfrommars is making sense? Inconceivable!! :)

    Yeah, This is a dumb idea, all things considered. Drivers have enough things to worry about on the road without dealing with Yet Another Distraction on the road. A typical rush hour driver has FAR more things to worry about then wondering about Wifi access or such things.

    However, I could see a portable unit for roadtrips (hey! let's take 4 people and drive two states over!) or for people-haulers (i.e., buses and limos). That would be a nifty gadget to have as a passenger- I can surf the web or do IM whilst the driver does what they are supposed to do- drive the bloody vehicle.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "for some reason"

    Obviously, the other seats are to store your Beowulf cluster that drives your car for you while you play g... er, get some work done.

  10. heystoopid
    Thumb Down


    Alas , the problem with Chrysler is the new management team are living in a bygone era when US Auto Makers were kings who could do no wrong and are consistently selling very ugly badly styled and assembled overweight fuel guzzling vehicles which ignored all guidelines provided to them in the late seventies before chairman Ronnie unleashed the new killer SUV onto the unsuspecting(yes Virginia even their fancy Motor Show proof of marketing units are totally ugly without a shred of style or taste and ignore realities in life ).

    Now , Ralph Nader told us in the sixties about an evil Flat Six from GM said to be the yankee version of Herbie the love bug , yet since first released whilst roll overs of these fat and ugly crap handling SUV's are involved in a mere 8 percent of all road incidents they result in nearly half the those killed of extremely badly injured , so go figure which is far more and deadly dangerous now !

    Even when Daimler Benz tried to instil and introduce improvements in design construction and tried but failed to evict the mostly dead wood at the top as well ! But from the moment they left by the front door the thick rigid and dense management yankee wood thoroughly indoctrinated with "Harvard Business Mismanagement" concepts and ideas went straight back to their evil greedy old and very stupid ways of they think they know what the motorists really want even though the writing was on the wall back in the late nineties they were obsolete dinosaurs even back then and continued to make only lethal crap handling POS's . Thus despite being told by the experts their designs and their big engines made good boat mooring anchors were totally obsolete and should be scrapped at the drawing boards or else they will ultimately follow the same path as both Studebaker and American Motors Corporation in the face of local Japanese built designed and made product in the same country !

    Let the death of the US car makers at their own hands continue as they strangle themselves to death with their own stupidity and as the song goes you are just little bit too late !

  11. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    wifi hotspot?

    "As for the wifi... wouldn't it be cheaper to buy a data package from your cell provider? " Nope. Data pricing in the US is horrible. For on-the-phone-only use tends to run about $15, unless it's a smart phone, then they'll jack it up to like $30+. For tethering or any non-phone use, it tends to run about $30 for like 20MB and $60 for what they originally called unlimited but now list as 5GB. AT&T, VZW, Alltel, US Cellular, Sprint, they all have virtually the same prices for data; Alltel is a holdout in still having $60 for unlimited instead of 5GB (Alltel mainly serves rural areas, I suspect they simply have low enough traffic per site they don't have to crack down on heavy usage.)

    What I wonder is, will they have people rigging this up to stay on 24/7 and using it as an internet connection for the house?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Plenty of Dodges and Jeeps carry passengers and their parents will by anything in the hopes of keeping them quiet on trips. I would expect law enforcement agencies to want this package added in future. I could use it myself for remote access to customer systems from the seashore :)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another use

    It'd be nice if you could bridge your car wifi with your home wifi, as soon as you pull into your driveway. The onboard car computer could then sync up your mp3 collection, PIM schedule, etc, all automatically. Jokes aside, I'd love to be able to have my appointment book in my house, car, office, and cell without my needing to twiddle it by hand.

  14. Martin Usher

    They've got to try something....

    Right at this moment with gas prices closing in on $5 per gallon its getting very difficult to even give one of these larger vehicles away. Saving a few bucks on wireless data connection is meaningless if the savings have disappeared out the tailpipe even before the vehicle's left the driveway.

    You can be sure that the system will be set up so it can't be used as a true hot-spot -- it'll just serve data to whatever's in the car or near to it. As for hotels charging for 'net access, if they do I just don't use it. I just will not pay for 'net access so I try to arrange stays where its free (after all, you don't have a coin slot on the shower in the bathroom, do you?).

    BTW. The Jeep isn't a good family vehicle. Too small inside. The problem with vehicles with true off-road capability is that you need the cabin to be boat shaped so it can get on and off slopes without grounding. (How do I know? I've got one....) If you want a SUV-like 'crossover' for surburban use then there are better choices.

  15. Nexox Enigma


    I can have a webcam in my car and people can watch my fantastically funny commutes. And learn some new swear words whenever someone pulls a stupid maneuver in traffic. And since this is Southern California, that'd be about once every 17 seconds.

    As much as I love the Internet, I can't help but feel that this is a terrible idea.

  16. Rebecca Putman

    Oh, good gods

    I'm from the United States, and the drivers here can't chew gum and drive at the same time. Yet, they try to read, put on makeup, change clothes, talk on a cellphone... now this. *sigh* I better go increase my insurance limits.

    Mine's the motorcycle jacket with the "Log off and drive!" bumper sticker.

  17. Eugene Goodrich

    Enables VoIP!

    Now we can make phone calls from our cars...

  18. Andy Hards
    IT Angle

    Get a DONGLE duh!

    A dongle dos the same job of connecting your laptop to the interweb but costs far less than the 5-600 bucks for doing it. It's still got a 3G sim card in but then you can use it when you are in the cafe that you've driven too and the pub and anywhere else. When it's in a car, you can only use it in your car. Fine if you want to surf for porn while parked up but you'll get the police and passersby wondering why you're parked up like a junkie or dealer for hours in the one place while you just 're-installing windows'.

  19. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Re: heystoopid's comment

    @heystoopid: Spot on! For those in UK, Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep's current "solution" to their vehicles being gas hogs is to have a promotion for $2.99/gallon fuel for some number of miles per year for the first 3 years. The best economy of Dodge's entire car lineup is 24 city 29 highway for one and another that gets 21 city 31 highway (better I suppose if most of your driving is highway). Ford and Chevy both have cars that do 24-25 city and 34-36 highway... and a Chevy Malibu, despite it's large size, manages 22 city 32 highway.

    I'm overall disappointed in US vehcile fuel economy (not just US automakers though; Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, VW at least are ALL guilty of deciding "oh, americans like more powerful engines" and dropping in either a US-specific engine, or the highest-power engine available on non-US models. Other than the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius, the BEST fuel economy I've been able to find on any car has been 29 city 36 highway. Get a smaller car? They tune it up for acceleration. (Take a look at or car co's web sites -- Honda, Toyota, etc., the smallest models will not get a single MPG better than the midsize, and usually lower highway mileage.)

  20. The Other Graham

    This reminds me of....

    ....the radio advert from GTA3 for the 'House of Tomorrow'

    "Now I can get email in the shower or surf the Internet while I'm driving!"

    (No doubt GTA'll get the blame if anyone crashes while doing just that)

  21. Keith Williams

    @Henry Wertz

    I regularly get as low as 7.7 L/100Km (30.6 mi/USGal) highway driving (even as low as 7.0 on occasion) and a combined weekly average of 8.9 L/100Km (26.4mi/USGal) including my "rush" hour 35K0 drive to work in my 2005 2.5L Nissan Altima.

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