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Vehicle-Based Wi-Fi Networks from Microsoft
In-car VoIP and web surfing can be improved
by KathrynV 09:41AM Sunday Sep 07 2008
Microsoft is working on building a network system that will make accessing Wi-Fi in vehicles much easier and more reliable. Dubbed Vi-Fi, the system relies on a software code that sits over the 802.11 interface to coordinate a cluster of base stations. What this means is that your moving vehicle would no longer be relying on communication with a single access point like it does now but would be able to communicate with multiple access points (although only one at a time) using a probabilistic approach that keeps the car connected to the access point most likely to give it the best connection. This is designed to reduce the problems that people have with losing wireless signals in cars which would improve all vehicle-based Wi-Fi including wireless VoIP calling. Microsoft’s tests were successful in improving performance by a factor of two with web browsing happening much more quickly and voice calls over Wi-Fi being much clearer and consistent in sound. The company says that the system would be fairly easy for any Wi-Fi vendor to begin implementing and is something that may benefit other poor-signal areas in addition to vehicle-based Wi-Fi.

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chronoss2008
Premium
join:2008-03-29

SPOT ON MS

now i can hack moving vehicles
WOOT
kpatz
MY HEAD A SPLODE
Premium
join:2003-06-13
Manchester, NH

Re: SPOT ON MS

And now we have to deal with people who are surfing the web while driving, as well as talking on their cell phones, putting on makeup, reading the paper (well, cnn.com), and so forth while they're supposed to be watching the ROAD...
Stojko
Premium
join:2007-10-20
St John's NL

Re: SPOT ON MS

said by kpatz:

And now we have to deal with people who are surfing the web while driving, as well as talking on their cell phones, putting on makeup, reading the paper (well, cnn.com), and so forth while they're supposed to be watching the ROAD...
Yep. As if we needed more distractions for drivers.
Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota

Re: SPOT ON MS

said by Stojko:

said by kpatz:

And now we have to deal with people who are surfing the web while driving, as well as talking on their cell phones, putting on makeup, reading the paper (well, cnn.com), and so forth while they're supposed to be watching the ROAD...
Yep. As if we needed more distractions for drivers.
Amen!! And to think only a few short years ago, a vehicle was used as tool to get from one place to another and the idea was to arrive alive. Now days, we wouldn't want to look out the window and watch were the hell we are going now would we?
Austinloop

join:2001-08-19
Austin, TX
kudos:1

Unnecessary innovations

Well, here is a truly unnecessary innovations. Just imagine how distracted one can get reading their email at 70 mph. And I thought that cell phones were bad.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 edit

Re: Unnecessary innovations

said by Austinloop:

Well, here is a truly unnecessary innovations. Just imagine how distracted one can get reading their email at 70 mph. And I thought that cell phones were bad.
As much as I agree with you that it is unneeded, the main internet use would be by PASSENGERS, and not the driver.

Also, if VOIP is a targeted feature of this enhancement?, then it would be integrated in to the "hands free" phone system already built in to more and more cars. Not that I think that is a good thing either.

In any case, I don't think that the driver browsing the internet is a big worry.
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Austinloop

join:2001-08-19
Austin, TX
kudos:1

Re: Unnecessary innovations

TK, not sure that I agree with you, I have heard reports of texting while driving and I don't see browsing the internet as that big a leap.

Combat Chuck
Too Many Cannibals
Premium
join:2001-11-29
Verona, PA

Re: Unnecessary innovations

said by Austinloop:

TK, not sure that I agree with you, I have heard reports of texting while driving and I don't see browsing the internet as that big a leap.
Yes but it's likely the people who would use this while driving are already texting while driving and the like.
8744675

join:2000-10-10
Decatur, GA
As much as I agree with you that it is unneeded, the main internet use would be by PASSENGERS, and not the driver.
What passengers? The average commuter, who is most likely to use Wi-Fi in their vehicle, travels alone. That's why HOV lanes are empty and traffic is a mess in most major cities. There may be more multi-occupancy vehicles lately due to gas prices, but they're still only a small fraction of the daily commuter traffic.

GeekGirl1
Premium
join:2007-01-28
Morrisville, PA
kudos:2

4 edits

Works great if you only drive on a test track

Did anyone with RF experience at MS review the white paper? »www.cs.umass.edu/~arunab/paper/s···vifi.pdf Very good documentation of the model assumptions, protocols, experimental observations. I think these guys did some really nice work- it seems to present both positive and negative aspects objectively.

However, this is an attempt to optimize performance to a single model. Everything was based on an open test track. The paper is very clear on that point and a lot of work needs to be done in a realistic RF environment.

A more realistic environment using buildings, trees, and other objects found on the highway (tractor trailers, buses, etc.) will make or break this project. I'm thinking that there are enough differences to significantly change the model. IOW, all the parameters have to change according to the environment.

(Why were directional antennas even considered for this study? It's not appropriate.)

PC World referenced an MS team member using an analogy of "Tarzan swinging through the jungle on a vine attached to one branch. If either breaks, Tarzan's forward motion is abruptly interrupted. If multiple vines and branches are readily at hand, however, he easily can keep moving forward..." RF multipath puts so many branches in the way that Tarzan picks the wrong one and falls off the tree.

I don't agree with MS spokesman in the PC World article that cell plans will go away if Wi-Fi is available. The cellphone standards are optimized for urban multipath environments. How about a cellphone vs. NIC + software smackdown? Location: downtown Manhattan. I'll place my bet on the cellphone.
TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel

Re: Works great if you only drive on a test track

Doesn't this system also rely on having plenty of open Wifi APs along the way? I can see there would be very few places where this would work reliably. Ok, maybe it would stand a chance in a few of the major US cities, but anywhere else? Probably not.

Radio Active
My pappy's a pistol
Premium
join:2003-01-31
Fullerton, CA
said by GeekGirl1:

"Tarzan swinging through the jungle on a vine attached to one branch. If either breaks, Tarzan's forward motion is abruptly interrupted. If multiple vines and branches are readily at hand, however, he easily can keep moving forward..." RF multipath puts so many branches in the way that Tarzan picks the wrong one and falls off the tree.

More like "George of the Jungle"...

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fB0tv31-ys


♫"Watch out for that treecar..."♫
--
Civil disobedience is still disobedience.

TCub
Premium
join:2008-09-03
Olmsted Falls, OH
kudos:4

Hmm..

Thats a very interesting concept, watch this technology comes out and accident rates shoot up....

weaseled386

join:2008-04-13
Port Orange, FL
Reviews:
·Bright House
·AT&T U-Verse

New technology, but old problem(s)....

I hate to break the news to you, but this won't create a new problem. For most of us business class users the option to surf-while-driving is already there. The only difference is I have to do it by the EVDO card built into my laptop...

You're years away from seeing this commercially available in any vehicle. Even if you do see publicly available prototype, it would probably be far to expensive for most users.
id_deleted

join:2003-05-01
Salt Lake City, UT

3 edits

The clueless unite

There are plenty of us that actually DO have Internet connected systems in our vehicles. For example, I have a carPC in my vehicle with an always-on EVDO broadband connection. Do I read my email as I am driving? NO, the artificial intelligence software I have installed in my carPC reads it to me along with reports of real time traffic conditions, weather, and news. I don’t even need to look away from the road to find Internet based information about a business or individual, I simply ask the AI for it using voice command, it finds the info on the net and reads the results to me. If I want to hear a specific song, I just "tell" the AI to play it, therefore I am a much safer driver than you are fumbling with your CD's or radio knobs.
So stop all this sky is falling, this is going to be the death of everyone paranoia, since if that is your opinion you obviously do not have the first clue about this technology, and your just making yourself look like a stupid fool.
Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota

Re: The clueless unite

said by id_deleted:

There are plenty of us that actually DO have Internet connected systems in our vehicles. For example, I have a carPC in my vehicle with an always-on EVDO broadband connection. Do I read my email as I am driving? NO, the artificial intelligence software I have installed in my carPC reads it to me along with reports of real time traffic conditions, weather, and news. I don’t even need to look away from the road to find Internet based information about a business or individual, I simply ask the AI for it using voice command, it finds the info on the net and reads the results to me. If I want to hear a specific song, I just "tell" the AI to play it, therefore I am a much safer driver than you are fumbling with your CD's or radio knobs.
So stop all this sky is falling, this is going to be the death of everyone paranoia, since if that is your opinion you obviously do not have the first clue about this technology, and your just making yourself look like a stupid fool.
I suppose if you had gone through the experience of loosing a loved one who was involved in an accident caused by an on-coming driver sending a text message, you might have a slightly different viewpoint on the subject. In a perfect world, people would use the technology in the responsible manor you are. The fact of the matter is, people do not and that affects everyone sharing the highway. The moron who couldn't handle using the mobile technology in a responsible fashion got a $150.00 ticket. My wife got a funeral and a casket. On that Fall day in 2005 my sky fell.
id_deleted

join:2003-05-01
Salt Lake City, UT

4 edits

Re: The clueless unite

I am truly sorry for your loss.
What I am saying is that instead of criticizing something that we are not familiar with, we should try to promote technology that provides safe mobile Internet access. If we did that initially with cell phones instead of waiting for years until hands free laws finally came into being, a lot of needless loss of life could have been prevented.
It goes without saying that if the driver of the other car in your circumstance had the same system I use, they would have likely just dictated the message to the AI and it would have been sent as a text message without the driver ever having to look anywhere but the road. Voice dictation still has a ways to go before it will work flawlessly in a noisy vehicle environment, but voice command works quite well, and microphone technology is also improving every day.

We need to demand that Microsoft and other software monopolies increase their research of voice control technology, and release their results freely to the public rather than hording it for their own profits; Its rapidily becoming a matter of public safety now.

It's been over two decades since voice computer interfacing was first developed and all we really have to show for it is Vista's SAPI 5.3, which is barely any better than its junk predecessor. The voice interface technology that Microsoft sold to Ford for their SYNC system is so much better than Vista’s SAPI it would make you sick, and they all but waste it on a stupid head unit control interface. If it were not for Microsoft’s careless greed, we would all be using voice to control our computers by now.
Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota

Re: The clueless unite

said by id_deleted:

I am sorry for your loss, but it could have just as easily have been a drunk driver that caused it.
What I am saying is that instead of criticizing something that you are not familiar with, we should try to promote technology that provides safe mobile Internet access. If we did that initially with cell phones instead of waiting for years until hands free laws finally came into being, a lot of needless loss of life could have been prevented.
It goes without saying that if the driver of the other car in your circumstance had the same system I use, they would have likely just dictated the message to the AI and it would have been sent as a text message without the driver ever having to look anywhere but the road.

We need to demand that Microsoft and other software monopolies increase their research of voice control technology, and release their results freely to the public rather than hording it for their own profits; Its rapidily becoming a matter of public safety now.

It's been over a decade since voice computer interfacing was first developed and all we really have to show for it is Vista's SAPI 5.3, which is barely any better than its junk predecessor. The voice interface technology that Microsoft sold to Ford for their SYNC system is much better than Vista’s SAPI. If it were not for Microsoft’s careless greed, we would all be using voice to control our computers by now.
I don't believe I was criticizing the technology. In fact I understand it, use it and feel quite the contrary. I agree with your entire quoted post. The problem, as I see it, lies with the human inability to make the proper judgement calls as to when it's OK to multitask driving with other tasks and when it's not. Some can multitask quite nicely and others run into you at Wal-Mart while jabbering on their Bluetooth enabled phone. Of course, in the end, what's going to happen is going to happen no matter what you or I think making this entire conversation moot.

Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12

This is a problem?

I had no idea that maintaining a Wi-Fi signal in a car is a problem. How odd.
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Linux Haters Unite!

chronoss2008
Premium
join:2008-03-29

after i jamm the area it will be

after i jamm the area it will be, imagine the chaos as all these noobs get all crazy about lost signals , osme fraked out terrorist of kid is gonna cause havoc watch and see.

So now i cna hack the system of the car and just follow the guy and get free internet and he gets blamed SWEET.