Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chrysler goes wireless

Chrysler will offer Wi-Fi Internet connectivity as a dealer-installed option on all models in the fourth quarter of 2008 and a blind-spot monitor as a factory option on its 2009 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans.

Chrysler said the Wi-Fi and 4G (fourth-generation wireless) technology will allow Internet and e-mail access along with the ability to download movies and music to a vehicle. Chrysler said it plans to make the technology a factory-installed option at some point.

The radar-based blind-spot monitoring system for the minivans displays a visual warning in the sideview mirror when the vehicle is moving forward and another vehicle enters a blind spot. If a turn signal is activated, it sounds a warning. A "rear cross path" feature also offers alerts when the minivan's in reverse.

Ford will offer a similar system on some 2009s that works with its radar-based blind spot monitoring that will show the blind spot in secondary convex sections of the sideview mirrors.

Chrysler also is adding front-axle disconnect on all-wheel-drive versions of the 2009 300 and Dodge Charger to allow them to get better fuel economy from rear-wheel-drive.

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