Just in case legislators needed more in-car distractions to crusade against, Microsoft and Ford are set to unveil plans for a new in-car communications system at January's Detroit auto show and at CES. Dubbed "Sync," the system will offer drivers a hands-free Bluetooth wireless headset and an in-vehicle operating system, letting users chat, check e-mail, or download music on the go. There's no word on what kind of connectivity this system will use to link users to the outside world -- and if it's using 3G services, whether you'll get to use your Ford hatchback as a Wi-Fi hotspot, given the restrictive nature of some companies' 3G access plans. The 103-year-old Ford Motor Company has plenty of problems right now, and it's not clear how offering the BSOD as an option is going to address the fact Toyota is still kicking their inefficient, unreliable butt. While services like this have been in higher-end cars for a while, it's not clear how popular these services will be with more economical drivers, since it's mobile communications functionality many people already have (and pay handsomely for) via smartphone. We've noted how many users can barely drive while operating their GPS systems -- so it will be interesting to see if they can drive while screwing around in the control panel to enable Cleartype.
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