I took a taxi the other day and it had Wi-Fi.
Well, aren’t you fancy. Did you own the taxi? Thought not. What you can own, though, is a Ford with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. Well, soon, anyway.
Can’t I just stick a mobile hotspot to the dashboard?
You could, but that wouldn’t look pretty, would it? Grab one of these Fords in Europe, on the other hand, and you’ll get Wi-Fi from a magical mystery source in the vehicle.
OK, so the mystery source is actually a 4G modem provided by Vodafone – but it still means speedy browsing while you cruise the asphalt. Well, not for you – but at least your passengers can provide regular updates on the latest dumb thing Trump’s said.
So Ford’s basically put memes on the road?
Not quite. While we can’t wait to waste gigabytes of in-car data – which will come as part of a plan – on cat pictures and fake news, there are some real-world advantages to what Ford’s done.
Live Traffic, for example, will allow the satnav to re-route around queues and congestion, to make your journey smoother and quicker. There’s also an auto-dial function that will alert the emergency services if you have a hefty shunt.
And I can remote control my car, right?
Who mentioned that? No, you can’t steer your Kuga round the car park from afar. You can, though, remotely lock and unlock it, as well as checking stats like oil levels, tyre pressure and the rest – as well as geo-locating your vehicle on a map. All thanks to that nifty modem and FordPass Connect. Isn’t data great?
It’s all LTE certificated, too, with firewalls installed to keep naughty sorts away from your vehicle’s important bits.
I tend to ferry a fair few people around.
Not to worry: the hotspot can handle 10 devices at once which, even with a full passenger load, should be a challenge to hit. The modem connects to every network, too – even where there aren’t roads – so in theory you’ll be able to schlep all the way Slovakia without losing connectivity.
Want Wi-Fi in your car? You’ll find the modems in Ford vehicles in Europe from next year. It’s already on offer in the US, but that FordPass Connect tech should shift things up a gear.