UPDATE: Every Car [Village] A Wi-Fi Transceiver [Wi-Fi Mesh]

This just in: Automotive Ethernet Gains Momentum as Membership in OPEN Alliance SIG Continues to Surge – Non-Profit Alliance Welcomes Leading Automotive Manufacturers – Now More than 140 Members Strong

PR here

# # # #

How Mesh Networks Work

Mesh networks are not just experimental network architectures — they are actively being used to connect devices in a decentralized way. This video explains how mesh networks work, and how the concept can be employed more broadly. This video project was researched and created by the Berkman Center’s class of 2012 Summer Interns.

# # # # [Originally posted 2008-ish] # # # #

Same song, different verse: Bertil van Vugt reports (via VC4Africa.biz) on “Village Telco: A WiFi-based mesh network that offers voice and data services anywhere”

# # # # [Originally posted 2008-ish] # # # #

America Public Media reported today in “Future Tense” for June 27, 2008: “People who buy Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles next year will have the option of turning their cars and trucks into rolling wireless Internet hotspots. Chrysler’s UConnect will come as a dealer-installed option and will work over a cellular network. The company says people will be able to use laptop computers in their cars and trucks just as if they were in an office or home.”*

# # # #

<ed.note>Here’s a TED presentation from the founder of ZipCar on auto-based mesh networks.</ed.note>

# # # #

From the A-Clue.com Archives of the week of December 22, 2003

Dana Blakenhorn helps by explaining the vision thing

<ed.note> Here in Tennessee, our Governor, Phil Bredesen, has announced, at the launch of a jobs program, funds would be available to “be used to develop a statewide broadband strategy”. Since I’m more interested in the “strategy” (see my <Project.Net-Work/> category) than the funds, I’m “blogpaining” for involvement on the task force — so please flame for me, flame for me.</ed.note>

Back when the bust was new, and new ideas by themselves were thought to be the cure for it, a friend told me of a great story from Mexico. A company making Wi-Fi set-ups would load them onto a Mexican trucking fleet, mainly to allow tracking of the fleet by a central station. But in the process they would deliver Wi-Fi service throughout rural Mexico.

Of course, the distances don’t work. When you map the trucks’ location to the location of people, you get a lot of service in the boondocks, and little where the people are. That’s part of the nature of long-distance hauling. People don’t like to live near it.

*But alert a-clue.com reader Ed Dodds has a variation on that he’s now pushing. Make every car in the U.S. a Wi-Fi transceiver. Do that, and you have a mesh network that does map to the population, because everyone has a car. It’s not perfect, because when you turn your car off, it’s off, and (in theory) so is the transceiver.

So in order for Dodds’ idea to work, you need an application so valuable that everyone will want it. Is it, perhaps, security, with LoJack as the “killer app?” Is it, perhaps, GPS, with mapping as the “killer app?” Is it, perhaps, entertainment, with satellite services (which use frequencies very close to current 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi) like Sirius and XM as the “killer app?”

The answer, of course, must be all of the above, and more. There’s a Clue here for clever entrepreneurs. You need to develop a product, plus a network, plus a network of applications in order to tie all this together. Yes, reception will be spotty at first, but links between cellular and Wi-Fi are coming, and software-defined radios are here.

Put Wi-Fi into cars, and all roads become part of a mesh network. Create a method (and reason) to leave those transceivers on all the time, and the U.S. becomes a giant Wi-Fi mesh!

Now that’s an Always-On platform you can fall in love with.