At the Chicago Auto Show: Communications

By February 10, 2008General

Chicago%20graphic.jpgThe Chicago Auto Show has another week to go? Wow. But on the other hand, we spent perhaps a total of seven hours there last week, just enough to orient us to the two exhibition halls — North and South — and to recognize that there a LOT of vehicles there. Says here, you could park 26 Boeing 747s on the show floors. And hey, look, webcams!

Which brings us to another fact obvious to any recent vehicle purchaser, but just abstract knowledge in our case: Today’s vehicles have incredible amounts of computer and communications capacity. Gigabytes are standard, and one car — forget which — included Zagat restaurant recommendations as part of its satellite capabilities.

And, as one of Edmunds many fine blogs reports, Ford unveiled truck options (Ford Work Solutions) that included an in-dash computer with Microsoft software, Garmin navigation, Bluetooth and a wireless printer interface. They take this work-truck stuff seriously, Brian Moody observes:

“DeWalt’s Tool Link lets you use that dash-mounted computer to keep track of your tools. The kit comes with radio frequency ID tags which you stick on each tool. As you head to the job site or back home you can instantly check to see that all the needed tools are on board. The Work Solutions package will be available on various 2009 Ford trucks including the F-150 and E-Series vans.”

How little of this would have made sense even 10 years ago.

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