Ford vehicles to get dashboard PC with mobile broadband

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Ford vehicles to get dashboard PC with mobile broadband

Ford is to introduce what it claims to be "the world’s first broadband-capable in-dash computer system," to selected US models.

As part of the Ford Work Solutions package, drivers of Ford F-150, Super Duty, E-Series and Transit Connect trucks will have internet access through US operator Sprint Nextel's mobile broadband service, with computer hardware from Italian-based automotive systems vendor Magneti Marelli, running under the Microsoft Auto operating system.

The Opera Mini browser is being pre-loaded onto the system, with LogMeIn Pro also being offered with the system giving drivers the ability to access Windows desktops and servers remotely.

Opera's Americas senior vice president Rod Hamlin said: "This solution will allow Ford truck and van owners to maintain a virtual work environment with access to all of the important files, information and applications they need."

Ford Work Solutions in-dash computer sits in space normally occupied by the standard radio. It has a 6.5-inch touch screen, 4GB of memory, a secure digital (SD) slot, a USB port and a wireless keyboard and mouse. An onboard Ford-certified, Bluetooth battery-powered HP Officejet H470wbt mobile inkjet printer is also available.

Other options are a DeWalt RFID kit for tagging tools and valuables, Garmin satellite navigation, and the Microlise vehicle fleet management application installed as part of Ford's in-vehicle telematics package.

Pricing for the system is currently US$1,195.
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