Next up: Internet on the Deerfoot at 100 km/h

Take a stroll down the street and nearly every business sign now includes the phrase ‘Free Wi-Fi available here.’

Internet access has nearly become just as easily accessible as air.

Offices, homes and even that obscure corner store down the block are wired to the internet, but until now, there’s been no sign that being wired was too much of a good thing.

That, however, may be about to change.

Rogers Communication and U.S wireless carrier Sprint  have partnered to offer Canadians wireless internet access in their vehicles. Drivers in Canada will be able to link their cars to the world-wide web starting next year.

“Yeah, it’s good stuff. Me and my family love technology, it means progression.” said automotive student Dante Fortugne.

Canadians are ecstatic users of all branches of wireless devices: From tablets and cellphones to cameras, all are now capable of connecting to Wi-Fi.

Some people, however, think the new connectivity might be too much of a good thing.

The Canadian police association, for one, is concerned with the safety issues that could come with adding high speed Wi-Fi to cars, which could lead to more crashes and deaths.

Distracted driving laws are still new, having only been in effect since September of 2011 and adding internet access to cars could become a huge step back, the cops fear.

Automakers were quick to respond by saying cars with Wi-Fi will be installed with a touchscreen attached to the dashboard, as well as optional voice commands and hands free-services. However, it will be consumers that drive the demand for these features.

“It should be locked as long as the car is in drive, then unlocks once the car is parked,” added said civil engineering tech student Sam Ross, who isn’t completely against the idea, but believes there should be strong restrictions on when it can be accessed while in the vehicle.

“It could still be beneficial,” added Ross.

The project will give drivers access to weather or accident alerts, options for customizable packages to sports and news, as well open the possibility for passengers to watch television on demand while travelling.

Yeah it’s good stuff. Me and my family love technology, it means progression -Dante Fortugne

The wireless option will be available by mid-2014, but there has been no information released regarding what brands will be offered or how much it will add to the cost of a vehicle or internet packages.

With demand already rapidly growing, the connected car market is expected to become a booming success with research suggesting that nearly 100 million connected cars will be on the road by 2016.

About Faith Flores 7 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Faith Flores worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2013-2014 academic year.