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Ford SYNC Mobile WiFi Hotspot – Click above for high-res image gallery

You might figure that, with a name like Focus, Ford's compact model would be all about eliminating distractions. But the new global Focus is jam-packed with technology, and the latest among them is a new in-car WiFi system.

The device works with SYNC and MyFord Touch to pick up the signal from a mobile internet dongle or smartphone and share it with as many as five additional devices in the car. This should come in handy for road trips and traveling salesmen, but we hope drivers will be able to stayed focused while behind the wheel.

One way or another, the system appears to be available – at least initially – only overseas in European markets, but we'll be keeping an eye out for its introduction in the United Sates, as well. In the meantime you can follow the jump to scope out the full details in the press release from Ford's British subsidiary.



Show full PR text

FORD DELIVERS ROLLING ONLINE HOT SPOT: ALL-NEW FOCUS TO OFFER WIFI IN 2012 WHEN FORD SYNC LAUNCHES IN THE UK

- Ford SYNC with MyFord Touch featuring WiFi connectivity to debut on new Focus in 2012, signaling a new era of in-car technology in the UK
- SYNC with MyFord Touch will create a password-protected WiFi hotspot inside the vehicle allowing up to five WiFi enabled devices to connect
- Utilising customers' existing USB modem or compatible Smartphone* will mean no subscription and no additional expense

Brentwood, Essex, 3 MAY 2011– The all-new Ford Focus will be transformed into a rolling WiFi hot spot when Ford SYNC with MyFord Touch technology makes its UK debut next year.

Ford Focus owners will be the first in the UK to benefit from SYNC's class-leading connectivity, which will be rolled out to several other Ford vehicles following its debut on the new global C-segment model.

By using an owners' existing USB modem or Smartphone, the SYNC-equipped Focus will be able to deliver a secure wireless connection that can be broadcast throughout the vehicle. Passengers with any WiFi-enabled device can then easily connect and access the internet. All this allows for simple, easy to use WiFi connectivity on the move for up to five devices.

Using SYNC's far reaching connectivity potential, Ford will offer individuals and families a level of in-car internet access that was until recently only available to the owners of considerably more expensive vehicles.

In-car internet access is no longer only demanded by chauffeur-driven executives. The increasing availability and popularity of WiFi compatible devices means that, as long as there is a data connection brought into the car, Ford passengers will be able to stay in contact with friends, keep abreast of the news and even play the latest games on the move and at all times.

"Ford is an automaker that is quickly becoming a personal technology company as well," says Christof Kellerwessel, chief engineer for electronic and electrical systems. "We're finding that Ford customers are tech savvy and – while travelling as passengers in cars – they want to be able to use their WiFi enabled devices while on the move.

"A reliable in-car internet connectionis therefore extremely important to them, and that's exactly what SYNC will offer when it makes its UK debut on the Ford Focus in 2012. SYNCwith MyFord Touch will offer rolling connectivity to Ford customers and everyone in a SYNC-equipped car can benefit at no additional expense."

Upgradeable and secure

One of the main advantages of the SYNC with MyFord Touch WiFi system is that it will allow customers to make use of a variety of USB devices, eliminating the need to purchase specifically compatible equipment. SYNC will use software updates to ensure it remains compatible with the latest hardware and devices, so customers can be sure that their SYNC-equipped vehicles will always allow them to make use of whatever USB mobile broadband modem or smartphone they are using – even devices that have yet to go on the market.

"We knew from the beginning that our connectivity solution would have to keep pace with the rapid advancement of consumer electronics and be flexible and upgradeable in order to remain useful to customers for as long as they own their vehicles," Kellerwessel said.

SYNC's WiFi capability will be a user-friendly solution to connecting Ford vehicles to the internet on the move. When it arrives on the new Ford Focus in 2012, the factory-installed system will seamlessly integrate the hardware into the vehicle, unlike internet connection systems from some manufacturers that require a bolt-in receiver and transmitter. With no subscription fee and the ability to provide a secure WiFi connection for up to five devices, SYNC with MyFord Touch will make the Ford Focus the best connected vehicle in its class.

"Because it will be able to make use of a customer's existing USB modem device or obtain a connection through a smartphone connected via Bluetooth, SYNC will offer the best value and flexibility for Ford customers," Kellerwesselsaid.

Using the SYNC WiFi system, a signal will be broadcast throughout the vehicle. Default security is set to WiFi Protected Access 2 (WPA2), requiring users to enter a randomly chosen password to connect to the internet. When SYNC sees a new WiFi device for the first time, the driver must specifically allow that device to connect, preventing unauthorised users from "piggybacking" on the SYNC-provided signal.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      poopoohead100
      • 3 Years Ago
      I know this is a cool feature, but am I going to have to deal with drivers who are using their laptops at the same time?
        Rotation
        • 3 Years Ago
        @poopoohead100
        Chrysler has offered mobile access points for years and MiFis are cheap and readily available. So this won't change anything on that front.
        poopoohead100
        • 3 Years Ago
        @poopoohead100
        lol I guess people have prepared ahead of time. http://www.amazon.com/Wheelmate-Laptop-Steering-Wheel-Desk/dp/B000IZGIA8
      Eric
      • 3 Years Ago
      Isn't the feature already available over here in the US? I ordered a 2012 Ford Focus Titanium that has MyFord Touch and SYNC and I'm pretty sure it's going to have wifi capability via a "mobile internet dongle"
        Papi L-Gee
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Eric
        I think you're right, Eric. Additionally, Autoblog ran a story on it a year and a half ago. http://www.autoblog.com/2009/12/21/sync-ftw-ford-adding-mobile-internet-compatibility-to-usb-ports/
          Relyat08
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Papi L-Gee
          So, does that mean its available in the 2010 Focus?
          Papi L-Gee
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Papi L-Gee
          @ Relyat08 - Couldn't tell you.
        TheDude999
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Eric
        Pretty sure it does. My car does not recognize the Verizon 4G dongle I have though. I'm not even going to mention how disappointed I am with MyFord Touch - slow responsiveness and crashed twice now....OK, I mentioned it
      Brent Waggoner
      • 3 Years Ago
      it does in fact do the wifi signal. It is on all vehicles equipped with myfordtouch. Not the Sync system. I am a Ford Salesman, so I can speak from experience on the car having that function. The Edge has that function as does the 2012 Explorer as long as equipped with myfordtouch, not just myford
      Arli
      • 3 Years Ago
      Look at that 2nd photo. Why don't I just bring a f***ing tent and call it a camp?
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      More pointless technology that is better handled by a smartphone than by your car. I can already surf the internet and turn on a mobile hotspot that way. Stop wasting resources on technology that you'll never be able to keep up-to-date.
        Noz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        Yeah seriously...build better cars instead...and electric to boot.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        SheldonRoss
        • 3 Years Ago
        Made it better than the Cruze?
          SheldonRoss
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SheldonRoss
          http://www.insideline.com/ford/focus/2012/comparison-test-2011-chevrolet-cruze-ltz-vs-2012-ford-focus-titanium.html http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/1104_2012_ford_focus_titanium_2011_chevrolet_cruze_ltz_rs_comparison/index.html http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/comparisons/11q1/2011_chevy_cruze_vs._2012_ford_focus_and_three_more_compacts-comparison_tests
      Noz
      • 3 Years Ago
      I drove this car the other day from the local dealership. I don't know..I'll have to drive it again. First impressions were that the car really isn't that great quality and definitely isn't as great as everyone makes it out to be. There were no squeaks, rattles, etc...but the car was new. But what I did notice was poorly fitted components in the dash area. I looked at 4 different cars that night (drove 1) and ALL of them had mal-fitting speaker covers on top of the dash...bent out of shape and not fitting tightly. Two of the cars had loose fitting liners that go from the front to back of the car on top of the roof. At $24K loaded, it's not cheap....and crap like that just isn't found on cars like Hondas or Toyotas. I frankly don't think the car deserves the reputation everyone is giving it.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Noz
        [blocked]
      Relyat08
      • 3 Years Ago
      That is actually really cool. Now I can download music using my zune while on a road trip! That is awesome. :)
      ICantDrive88
      • 3 Years Ago
      My phone turns into a WiFi hotspot so big woop. I don't really understand why even offer it, you can do the sam thing with your phone or if you put the dongle in a laptop and create a hotspot from that if you need multiple computers on it (takes two steps). Seems to me like it's overkill.
      Shiftright
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wan to know who came up with the term 'dongle'?
        Rotation
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Shiftright
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_protection_dongle#History
      Rotation
      • 3 Years Ago
      To do this in the US, you'd need to have the tethering option on your wireless account. And that's going to add expense for most customers. So I don't see this taking off soon here. It's not Ford's fault, it's the carriers'. They have us by the short ones.
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