Ford Winning Dashboard Tech War: Trucks Getting Opera Browsers With Their 3G

If Ford can put Sprint 3G in their cars, and now, Opera browsers, what the hell is taking the rest of the industry so long? SHAME!

The in-dash computer has a wireless keyboard and mouse, a 6.5 inch touchscreen. No word on screen res or if the kb and mouse can be swapped with a media centre type model for easier lap usage. The setup has 4GB of memory, and a stylus for the touchscreen. It can even output via bluetooth to an optional battery powered printer.

You've got all these upscale marquees, like Lexus, and Audi and BMW and ok, Acura who haven't done it. Never mind the Astons and Ferraris of the world. And none of them can keep up with Ford. Ford is clearly kicking arse in the tech department.

Do we need this kind of thing with the rise of smart phones? Will car computers die like car phones before they've ever born? I hope not, because of the inherent advantages to heavy car integration. Imagine car telemetry, and more advanced connected GPS and media library sharing with the home, as well as road worthy friend finding functions. Stuff like this is best done when fully installed in the vehicle.

Nevermind that this tech will make your car a totally unsafe place to drive, because you are browsing
Fleshbot instead of driving. I mean, the Explorer roll over issues are going to look like child games after this. But I wouldn't say no.

April 2, 2009 - Mountain View, CA and Las Vegas, NV -

Owners of Ford F-150, Super Duty, E-Series and Transit Connect trucks and vans will now be able to access the full Web from the convenience of their vehicles, thanks to Opera and Ford Work Solutions. Opera will be the featured browser on Ford's industry-first, broadband-capable, in-dash computer.

With this technology, truck and van owners (contractors, farmers, construction workers, business owners, etc.) will be able to use the in-dash Opera browser to access essential information and applications including sales information, contact databases, job-site plans, inventory lists, calendars, e-mail, or even the weather. The in-dash computer, combined with the Opera browser, Bluetooth printing capabilities, and other features transform Ford's new lineup of trucks and vans into true mobile offices.

"Opera's vision has always been about giving people access to the full Web anytime, anywhere," explains Rod Hamlin, Senior Vice President Americas for Opera Software. "No example showcases this better than delivering a fast, feature-rich Web browser to a vehicle. This solution will allow Ford truck and van owners to maintain a virtual work environment with access to all of the important files, information and applications they need on a daily basis. "

Ford Work Solutions is a collection of factory-installed affordable technologies-including "smart" features that provide full Internet connectivity, tool/inventory tracking, remote computer access, fleet management telematics and security to support Ford customers with mobile office and business needs, even on the job site.

The Ford Work Solutions in-dash computer is integrated into the vehicle's centre stack, filling the same space normally occupied by the standard radio. It is equipped with a 6.5-inch, high-resolution touch screen, four gigabytes of memory, a secure digital slot for added memory, a USB port and a wireless keyboard and mouse. A stylus, stored next to the CD slot, is included for use on the touch screen, as well as an available Ford-certified, on-board, Bluetooth-enabled, battery-powered inkjet printer.

All four Ford Work Solutions technologies, including the Opera browser, are available on the new 2009 Ford F-150 XL, STX, XLT trucks; F-Series Super Duty XL, XLT and FX4 trucks; and all 2009 E-Series vans. The 2010 Transit Connect van joins the lineup in mid-2009 and will be available with Ford Work Solutions in-dash offerings.

For more information, visit www.fordworksolutions.com.

To see Opera in action on the in-dash computer, click on the "In-Dash Computer" link and then press "play" on the video (Opera, 1min, 38sec).

WATCH MORE: Car News

Trending Stories Right Now