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Beth Stackpole
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Blogger
Car phone a birthright
Beth Stackpole   6/28/2012 6:45:25 AM
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Wow. That statement alone really sums up where we are heading. I suppose even we almost baby boomers must acquiesce to the fact that access to cell phone, and even Internet, while in the car is fast becoming a must. I can't tell you how often one of my kids plays personal secretary to me, writing/responding to texts, emails, etc. while I'm carting them to and from places. Even on these short jaunts, I increasingly feel the need to be connected so anything that might make that easier and less dangerous would be a welcome advantage.

Nancy Golden
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Platinum
Re: Car phone a birthright
Nancy Golden   6/28/2012 10:07:18 AM
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I think you are right, Beth. The technology we are talking about has become cultural - it is a part of our world view on how we communicate with each other. I just hope we never dispense with the OFF button. Sometimes I feel like it is enslaving more than liberating. We never leave work anymore - even when we physically leave. It used to be there was a line of demarcation between personal and private time but that line has become blurred due to technology, sometimes to our loss...

Dozer789
User Rank
Iron
technology
Dozer789   6/28/2012 5:10:38 PM
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This would be very helpful for people who travel a lot but want to connect to the internet. how long of range does this have?

     Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained.

naperlou
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Blogger
Re: Car phone a birthright
naperlou   6/29/2012 9:11:31 AM
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Beth, we are a connected people, aren't we.  I find that a lot of things are delivered with a CD or DVD which contains almost nothing.  It is mostly links to a web site with the latest information.  This makes sense, but only if you have ubiquitous communications.  The cell phone network is the closest we have to that.  Many people have 4G modules they attach to their PCs.  Some even come with that.  Why not cars? 

kleetus
User Rank
Silver
Re: Car phone a birthright
kleetus   6/29/2012 9:14:40 AM
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This should be really interesting now that they did away with the unlimited data plan. They Pushed 4G as the greatest thing since sliced bread, and it is fast, but much like any good drug dealer, get your addicts hooked, then jack up the prices... the junkies will pay.


I think this time they may have overreached, just like their idiotic billing policy they pulled back on when the public told them to shove it.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Verizon nabs a monoply
Rob Spiegel   6/28/2012 1:21:59 PM
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My goodness, Verizon just positioned itself with a monopoly on in-car phone service. That's a pretty clever move. I would guess users would have to pay a monthly fee to Verizon and they would be locked in with that vendor. 

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Verizon nabs a monoply
Charles Murray   6/28/2012 7:44:26 PM
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Yes, Rob, a clever move. Some in the industry also believe that Verizon did it because they no longer want to support the 2G and 2.5G services that are used in some of the hard-wired in-car phone services.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Verizon nabs a monoply
Rob Spiegel   6/29/2012 2:32:08 PM
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If Verizon is the only vendor offering service to the wireless connections in these cars, there is no competitive pressure to keep monthly services charges down. May, my.

Beth Stackpole
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Blogger
Re: Verizon nabs a monoply
Beth Stackpole   6/29/2012 6:47:14 AM
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My bet is it might parallel what happens with satelitte radio. You buy a certain class of vehicle and you get satelitte radio for a year and then afterwards have to buck up for a subscription if they want to keep it. Perhaps Verizon would do the same thing although given our love affair with the cell phone, my guess is people would be prepared to pay right away to get the service.

3drob
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Verizon nabs a monoply
3drob   6/29/2012 9:45:39 AM
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All the car companies would like to tie us into the lucrative smart phone "service" market.  But how many car companies have the resources to create their own "service"?  One, GM, with OnStar.

My car has blue tooth and USB.  Just like on-star, it can call 911 in case of an accident.  It could easily get smart phone connectivity with either of those two interfaces if they just updated the on-board SW.  That probably won't happen, since then I wouldn't be locked into a server of the car companies choosing (and they have a relationship with a satalite provider for that now, which I'm not paying for).

The last thing a car company should be doing is tying a snapshot of technology into a car with a potential 20 year lifespan.  My wife's 18 year old car still has an analog "built in" phone.  You know what it's useful for?  Nada.

What the car companies should be doing is coming up with a tablet cradle dock standard on the middle dash (power + USB/bluetooth with a standard data format, kind of like OBD).  Want 4G?  Get a 4G tablet.  Touch screen breaks?  Get a new $200 tablet instead of paying $3000 for a replacement "built in" from the dealer.  Technology marches on?  (I hear that it does, sometimes;)  Buy a new tablet. Better screen?  No problem.  Want to create your own engine performance dials?  Write an Android app.  Want to continue something after your car ride is over?  Take it with you (I do this now with my Android cell phone and my music).

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Verizon nabs a monoply
Rob Spiegel   6/29/2012 2:34:52 PM
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I think you're right, Beth. I would expect the service plan begins when the car is purchased. It's an understandable charge. What is interesting is that it is sole source.

Davek3gau
User Rank
Gold
4G in cars
Davek3gau   6/29/2012 9:41:09 AM
It's an interesting developement and seems to fly in the face of the safety folks effort to ban cell phone use in vehicles all together!  There will be a big struggle over that issue.

Some folks need to take a 'technology break of fast for awhile.  We lived before we had all this instant communications and we can still do it if we have to! 

jljarvis
User Rank
Gold
distracted driving
jljarvis   6/29/2012 9:47:06 AM
The profit driven motive here isn't necessarily a virtue.  Sizzle sells steak, and bells, whistles,  touchscreens and apps sell cars and phones.

The problem isn't the technology...it's the ergonomic positioning and tactile component of the technology....and worse, it's the place that it puts the drivers' brains.

While it's true that you can adjust your mirrors, tune your radio, look at your Garmin, (and dare I mention shave, apply lipstick, brush your hair, or light a cigarette?) ...  the problem is that if something happens requiring fast driver response,  reaction time is reduced. 

Studies have shown that complex discussions with passengers can distract a driver seriously--and the same is true of conversations by cell phone.   The handheld component almost doesn't matter, so long as you're not looking down to dial.   Your brain is still on auto-cruise while engaging in the activity, and you're AN IMPAIRED DRIVER.

How many of us have driven past an exit on a limited access roadway while listening to music, or talking on the phone?   Or found ourselves in the left lane when we should be slowing for the exit?   Or had some idiot execute a last minute  "left lane exit" across three lanes of 70mph highway?  

Even application of heads-up display might not mitigate the distraction problem.

It's no wonder the NTSB is weighing in negatively on some of these applications.

 

lynnbr2
User Rank
Iron
Economics of 2nd 4G cellular plan?
lynnbr2   6/29/2012 11:06:04 AM
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It's interesting that this article completely glosses over the economics of a car driver having a second 4G 'smartphone' subscription service <this is where the rubber-hits-the-road --pun intended>. Most folks already dish out ~ $80 - 100/ month for the 'smartphone' in their pocket. So the article is suggesting mass numbers of car-buyers are going to sign up for a second $80-100/ month subscription plan? And then deal with network overages on two subscriptions?

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
A phone in your car = more profit for somebody.
William K.   6/29/2012 4:44:42 PM
We do not need a phone in the car any more than we need a built in bar in the car. I hope that the car companies realize that eventually they will be tagged as the enablers for putting in distracting things and causing accidents. And once that decision is issued there will be hundreds more lawsuits charging endangerment or some such.

So while it seems like a good idea, a high profit one at that, in reality it is setting up for a huge loss later on. Please consider that.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
GM OnStar
Charles Murray   6/29/2012 8:02:16 PM
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It's a little late to keep the hard-wired phone out of the car. GM OnStar has had it for 16 years. It's in 30 models and the subscriptions run into the millions.

lynnbr2
User Rank
Iron
Re: GM OnStar
lynnbr2   6/30/2012 12:22:55 AM
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As the article pointed out OnStar is a 2G system, and is priced accordingly. Its not an infotainment system. I just renewed my annual subscription for <$15/month. Yes, millions can pay $15/month - even within the current economic slump. I have had zero minutes on my "cell plan" for over 18 months - don't use it. Just a glorified wireless burglar alarm system with an insurance discount, that can unlock my car if I leave the keys inside.

If Verizon can price a 4G 'data plan' like that, incredible, and it will sell like hotcakes. But I don't think so.

proent@pd.jaring.my
User Rank
Iron
4G wireless in car
proent@pd.jaring.my   6/30/2012 6:43:46 AM
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Wireless broadband is cheaper solution than 4G. But car owner need a in car computer instead.



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