Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Should Cars Also Be Wi-Fi Hot Spots?


Anyone who's spent any time on my website, reading one of my books, or taking one of my classes knows that I absolutely love technology. The ‘Net has made it possible for me to make a good living while working from home doing what I love, and it doesn’t get any better than that. I also get regular emails from students who have improved their lives through a career in information technology, and those emails always make my day.

Having said that, a recent article in the Wall Street Journal really made me wonder if we’re ready for the next step – our cars as WiFi hot spots. Roger Cheng’s September 4 article mentions that Avis Car Rental is already putting a WiFi box into their cars (at an additional charge of $10.95 per day). These boxes are created by Autonet Mobile Inc., and they hope to offer the WiFi box as an option in new cars as well.

Having our cars serve as WiFi hot spots is the next logical step in keeping us connected to the Net while we travel, since Amtrak is working to offer internet access to passengers, and American Airlines is planning to offer WiFi access to passengers in 2008. There’s a key difference to offering WiFi access to me while I’m on a plane or train as opposed to a car – I’m (hopefully) not driving while I’m on Amtrak or American Airlines!

I’m not going to get into a discussion of whether cell phone usage when driving is dangerous. I do think we can all agree that surfing the Net while driving is not the best idea, though. We’ve got drivers texting and talking while driving now – hopefully they’ll be able to resist the temptation to surf while they’re driving, but somehow I doubt it.

Again, I’m not against technology or immediate Web access; on the contrary, I like the idea! Claudia Goldsmith of Nokia was quoted in the article as saying that a car could potentially keep a Net connection at 70 MPH. Let’s hope it’s the passenger working on that connection, and not the driver!

What do you think? Leave a comment, and I'll chat with you soon!

Chris Bryant
CCIE #12933
http://www.thebryantadvantage.com/

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