Research: WiFi in cars becoming advantage for auto manufacturers

Research firm iSuppli suggests that automobile makers that embrace in-car WiFi technology will have a competitive advantage over manufacturers that don't.

The firm predicts that integrated WiFi systems in cars will reach 7.2 million by 2017, representing a more than 40-fold increase from this year. iSuppli predicts that some 174,000 connected cars will be driving on the roads this year.

The Ford Sync system, for instance, turns an automobile into a hotspot when a customer plugs in a USB mobile broadband dongle into the car. The Audi A8 includes an integrated 3G radio to supplement WiFi via a Marvell mobile hotspot solution. In addition, up to eight WiFi-enabled devices can connect to the hotspot. 

For more:
- see this Wall Street Journal article

Related articles:
Ford woos app developers for AppLink   
Android, BlackBerry apps drive Ford's Sync AppLink 
Ford's Send to Sync service adds Google Maps