Chrysler’s Uconnect System

Chrysler showed off improvements to its UConnect infotainment system. Chrysler is working on adding its many features as possible to the system, while making it as easy to use as possible. They are working with human interface experts in order to achieve this end. The various radios that are included within the Uconnect interface are AM/FM radio, HD radio and also Sirus XM radio with Premier lineup. If you use Sirus XM radio and you mark a song or sports team as a favorite, than when those songs or that sport teams appears on a Sirus station you will an alert and shortcut straight to it. The radio system also has a replay feature which works similar to a DVR it captures data in the background while you’re taking call. When the call is finished you can then come back to what you are listening to and rewind it back for up to an hour. In the center console there is a media hub which includes: a USB port, Bluetooth streaming audio port, SD port, aux port and a USB charging port. The USB charging port is a 2.5 amp charger and can be used to charge an iPad. You can use the system to change the climate inside the car using your voice.

They have also improve the navigation system within the car. Chrysler has also included one step navigation using voice command, requesting navigation information either using an address or “find nearest” (as in find nearest coffee shop). The on-screen map also shows traffic indicators from the nearest Sirus XM traffic center. These indicators include accidents, road work and general traffic information. The UConnect access in Chrysler vehicles has been integrated with MAP (Message Access Profile) system that is used by Android and Windows phones. This allows you to send text messages using the voice recognition button on the steering wheel. The message goes to Nuance which translates it into text and then back to the phone and then it is sent off. You can also use it to read off incoming text messages. This allows you to send and receive messages without your hands ever leaving the steering wheel.

The Uconnect also has embedded apps which have an integrated cell connection using the Sprint Network. This allows you to make certain calls without having to use your phone. There is a 911 button which will take you directly to the nearest 911 center. There is also an assist button which will connect you to either roadside assistance, a Uconnect assistant or vehicle specific assistance.

The Via mobile system that Chrysler is introducing integrates internet radio stations that are on your smart phone into the Uconnect system. You enter your login information for your favorite music applications including Pandora, Slacker Radio, and iHeart Radio into the Via mobile website (once you register your vehicle with Uconnect ) then those apps are paired with your vehicle. This forces you to use your vehicle controls so you’re not distracted by your phone. It does use the cellular data from your phone.

Chrysler will be announcing later which vehicles this full system will be available on, they were showing it off at CES 2013 in the Ram 2013.

Interview by Scott Ertz for the network.

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