Tag Archives: infotainment

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 F5Live.tv network.

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Suzuki & Garmin Team Up For In-Dash Infotainment in 2013

Image Courtesy Garmin. A look at the new Garmin 6.1 inch     hi-res touchscreen to be featured in most American Suzuki 2013 vehicle models

Swiss satellite navigation device maker Garmin has teamed up with Japanese auto maker Suzuki to outfit most 2013 American model vehicles with a fairly robust infotainment system featuring a 6.1 inch hi-res touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, Pandora radio and, of course, GPS navigation (among other things).

“By leveraging our long-standing experience in developing navigation software, user interfaces and hardware design,” said Matt Munn, Garmin’s managing director automotive OEM, “we created an integrated system that is easy to use and makes driving more enjoyable.”

Garmin’s Suzuki system includes the following functionalities:

  • Media and music integration: Integrated AM/FM radio and CD player with interfaces allowing users to play from external devices such as a mobile phone or iPod, including a USB and AUX jack, Bluetooth and a SD card slot. Pandora supported, as well (via iOS smartphone).
  • Navigation: Premium road guidance with spoken turn-by-turn directions and street names; PhotoReal Junction View with lane guidance; speed limit and current speed displays, millions of points of interest, and more.
  • Full voice control: Users can control the system with voice commands, which helps reduce driver distraction.
  • Connected services: Real-time information, such astraffic, dynamic parking, weather and fuel prices, will be available through Garmin Smartphone Link (added to the system with an update after the initial launch).
  • Backup camera support: Backup camera displayed on the screen, giving drivers better view of what’s behind vehicle.
  • Hands-free Bluetooth: Integrated Bluetooth calling function

This partnership is being seen as a move that could boost both Suzuki and Garmin in different ways. Suzuki, like many auto makers, has seen a rough few years with sales figures tumbling with the auto market. For Garmin, this ain’t their first dance with auto makers, but it is the most versatile device they’ve put out so far – packing several features into one unit.

Either way, the in-car/in-dash infotainment industry is widely viewed as running full-steam ahead as the technology is gathering popularity with more consumers expecting it in higher-end vehicles.

Mercedes Benz Helping You Connect to Your World

Right now if you own a SL class from Mercedes-Benz you can access data, make calls and play music on your phone directly thru the mbrace system. However if you have a C class or an GLK series car that option is not available to you.

Mercedes-Benz is currently developing a concept that will allow customers with C class or GLK series owners to be able to integrate their smart phones or iPod Touches directly into their car. Once the device is plugged in the car will take over the info and become the infotainment system. You can then control the smart phone directly from the car, allowing for hands free-calling and access of supported applications on the smart phone through the car interface. All updates will be done through the smart phone so you will always be up to date.

The system they are now developing for the C class and GLK series will allow those customers to get connected at a more reasonable price. They hope to have the system available for C class and GLK series cars by the 3rd quarter of 2013.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central

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