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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chrysler to turn cars into hot spots

Chrysler is going to let drivers turn most of the company's 2009 vehicles into hot spots, at least for mobile Web access.

The automaker will unveil a system today that will let motorists check email on their laptop at stoplights, while the kids play online video games in the back seat.

"What UConnect Web does is turn the whole vehicle into an Internet hot spot," says Keefe Leung, who works on advanced connectivity strategies for Chrysler. The wireless router and cellular-based Web connection will serve WiFi enabled laptops, iPhone and other smartphones, entertainment systems and other personal devices.

UConnect Web will be offered in most 2009 Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles starting in August. The in vehicle router will cost $449, plus installation of up to $50. Mobile Web access for it will require a $29 a month subscription, after $35 for activation, through provider Autonet Mobile.

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