by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jun 25th 2008 9:20pm
Apparently Chrysler is looking to turn your car into a rolling WiFi hotspot, allowing you to connect to the internet both for the sake of accessing information, but also for providing it (such as traffic info). Of course, automakers have talked about internet access in cars before, but it hasn't gone very far -- so unless you brought your own EVDO card, you weren't doing much. But is there really a strong demand for such things? As some analysts note, it seems like the automakers may be "leapfrogging the market," when they should be focused on making cars work better with the gadgets we already have. This is a problem that has come up before. Automakers love to build new technology into their cars in order to control the experience, but that's not what consumers want. Having an MP3 player is nice, but it's easier if you can just use your iPod. Having a built in GPS system is cool, but the new Garmin has a lot more features. Working with consumer electronics devices that people buy seems like it may be a lot more sensible than trying to recreate the wheel. And, then, of course putting WiFi connectivity in cars may eventually lead to xkcd-style scenarios:
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