UConnect Turns Chrysler Vehicles into Mobile Wi-Fi Hot Spots

Dennis Faas's picture

Chrysler is planning to introduce a new feature in most of their 2009 models which will transform their vehicles into a traveling hot spot for mobile web access. This will be the first time WiFi will be available in vehicles on a mass scale.

If you have even been stuck waiting for a train to pass or parked in front of those early-morning, never-ending red lights, you know what a frustrating time-waster each of these interruptions are. In these situations people may very well turn to cursing, playing the bongos on the steering wheel, or honking their horn at no one in particular.

But what if you could pass the time by checking your stock quotes, shopping on eBay, or playing an online game? These daily interruptions may not be so inconvenient after all.

Chrysler plans on changing all of that. The dealer-installed WiFi system, called UConnect, will be an add-on to the information and entertainment systems already found in many of the company's vehicles. (Source:

UConnect will make WiFi available to laptops, iPhones (and other smart phones), portable entertainment systems and other personal devices.

Just think of the possibilities...

While on a date, you can pull over to the side of the road, scan the area for local restaurants and make reservations with a few clicks of a keyboard. Afterwards, you can purchase some snacks and hop in the backseat to share your favorite clips on YouTube.

While UConnect is likely to receive some harsh criticisms in the form of vehicular safety, Chrysler did promise that WiFi service will not be offered once the vehicle is in motion.

UConnect will be the name for all future technology available in Chrysler vehicles, including entertainment systems, satellite television, navigation and Internet. The WiFi service is expected to put Chrysler ahead of their competitors (Ford and General Motors) in terms of technology.

The service is a long way from becoming a standard feature, and currently sells for $449 for the router alone. The cost of installation is expected to fall around the $50 mark, while mobile web access will require a $29-a-month subscription, after a $35 activation fee provided by Autonet Mobile. (Source:

UConnect will be available in most 2009 Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep vehicles beginning in August 2008.

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