Wi-Fi Equipped Vehicles

Smart Phones, what about Smart Cars?

What if vehicles were enabled with Wi-Fi and could advise a cloud-based server about their location, speed and relate this to the other vehicles travelling in the same location?

Well FORD and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) have been working together to evaluate the feasibility of making a moving Wi-Fi-enabled vehicle to be a participant in a spontaneous wireless vehicle-to-vehicle network. During that temporary connection, drivers or passengers would be able to share their current traffic and route information with other vehicles nearby to improve commute times, avoid traffic hold ups and assist with greater fuel efficiency.

It’s like a digital-age equivalent of the CB radio. The Ford protocol being tested currently controls the Wi-Fi-enabled car to create a spontaneous vehicle group or network of data-transmitting cars. With the link-up, data relating to real-time traffic and routes could be collected quickly and shared with others using the same road at the same time.

Vehicles in that vehicle-to-vehicle network with a 3G or 4G connection could also share the traffic and route information gathered in the cloud based server for mass distribution, or even be able to participate in cloud-based applications like online gaming for back seat travellers.

Some tests have been carried out during rush hour traffic in the US. The tests were done to see if the data could be processed quickly enough and delivered across the network of test vehicles. A two way 8-km stretch of highway with two lanes in each direction was tested with vehicle speeds of 110 kph and
the simulations showed that the network could achieve sufficient delivery rates, a critical element of usability for group network applications. 


Market demand for connectivity of devices, services and information in the vehicle continues to grow. Wireless and cloud computing is also growing at a fast pace and proving to be a useful technology in assisting the development of limitless ideas for in-vehicle applications. Creating a wireless vehicle-to-vehicle network could make applications that seemed impossible inside the car a reality. This could include things like; group voice chatting, multi-party conversations for cars, motor homes, trucks, anywhere where vehicles could be a part of a convoy or group and get timely updates on location, traffic and occupant needs. 


Ford is using its expertise coupled with is long standing relationship with MIT and extensive understanding of driver behaviour to examine these possibilities and responsibly and safely enhance the our time behind the wheel.

June 2013

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