Using the same technology on its Ford SYNC system that allows drivers to create a mobile WiFi hotspot within Ford cars, automaker Ford is now using that same WiFi tech to customize cars off of the assembly line. WiFi transmitters at an assembly plant can customize the car’s infotainment system, but the use of WiFi for car customization will lead to more possibilities down the road as well.
Beyond setting the car’s control deck’s language, manufacturers can also use it to set individualized preferences, such as power seat preferences, transmission gear shifting preferences, and more, without having to spend time to customize hardware. Rather, customization will be done on the software side, saving time and money.
These types of customizations can lead to cars coming with apps packages where users can customize their car with select applications. Features can be loaded into cars, activated when buyers purchase those options, or even be added at a later date.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “The production-line Wi-Fi innovation aids the company’s plans to expand its voice-activated system, originally known as SYNC and now incorporated into an expanded MyFord Touch interface, around the world.” Ford did not originally envision using its SYNC system for such a purpose, but as technology evolved, the company found new opportunities to offer customizations based on SYNC’s WiFi features.
Despite progressive action by Ford, other manufacturers are still wary. Toyota does not install WiFi as a factory option, citing it as a possible distraction to the driver. Still, there are other challenges, such as the risk of hacking.