WiFi Hits the Road with New Car-Based Networks

By JR Raphael
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

The road trip is about to be revolutionized. Chrysler has just introduced an in-car WiFi system that’ll let you surf the net while on the go.

Uconnect Web — unveiled at a company event in Detroit today — will be available for all Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge models by September. You’ll have to get a $449 router installed by the dealer, then you can pay $29 a month for unlimited wireless service right in your own vehicle.

The access comes from a 3G network and is said to be as fast and reliable as any non-moving WiFi setup. The router also features a 100-foot range, so you can extend your connection to an entire parking lot or even a nearby motel room.

The technology was created by a three-year-old company called AutoNet Mobile. The same engineers developed a similar system that’s been featured in Avis rental cars since last year.

Chrysler’s Uconnect will offer a handful of other high-tech travel options, including Uconnect Phone, a system that will let you use a Bluetooth device to communicate with the car. You’ll be able to change the radio station and even record voice memos into a microphone built into the rearview mirror. Another noteworthy addition is Uconnect Tunes, which puts a 30GB hard drive into your dashboard so you can rip and save songs from CDs directly to the car. You’ll also be able to load photos, videos, and other multimedia content to be shown on a display.

And you thought drivers on cell phones were annoying.