This morning, Chrysler launched a new update to UConnect: UConnect Access Via Mobile. It builds on Chrysler’s philosophy of sensible connectivity — which has been all the more appreciated after Ford and BMW went for “feature lists” and ended up with harshly criticized (and, in Ford’s case, buggy) systems. The system is based on QNX, and many programmer interfaces are shared with BlackBerry OS 10; POSIX compliance should also make it easier to port from Android and IOS.
UConnect Access Via Mobile has not been announced before; it builds on UConnect Access, available in the 2013 Ram 1500 and SRT Viper. UConnect Access includes one-touch 9-1-1 calling, remote door-locking/unlocking, and other features.
- Aha™ by HARMAN: Access over 30,000 “stations” of audio content including music services, news, entertainment, audiobooks, Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds, customized food and break stations, weather, and more.
- iHeartRadio: Clear Channel’s digital music service, adapted to cars.
- Pandora® automatically creates personalized radio stations based on songs submitted by the user; it is powered by the Music Genome Project®, a detailed, hand-built musical taxonomy, modified by listener feedback, with more than a million tracks included.
- Slacker: millions of songs in hundreds of stations.
UConnect Access already provides fully integrated cloud-based voice-recognition technology to enable Voice Texting (creating text messages via natural speech) via Bluetooth-equipped smartphones that use the industry-standard Message Access Protocol (MAP).
The same capability supports an upgraded navigation system that accepts one-step voice-commands for destination entry, as well as voice-driven Internet searching to find points of interest and place hands-free calls to them or add them as a destination.
Chrysler also re-announced the ability to activate a navigation system on a car that was not ordered with one. According to Marios Zenios (Vice President of Uconnect Systems and Services), this is an industry first, “…a ‘no-customer-left-behind’ attitude.” The move will be especially handy for used-car buyers.
Dealer-activated navigation will be launched on the 2013 Ram 1500 full-size pickup, SRT Viper and the 2014 Fiat 500L, and will make its way to other cars. It has the features of standard in-car navigation, including junction views, lane guidance, speed limits, and spoken turn-by-turn instructions for “eyes free” guidance.
(See UConnect Access)
With the supercharged 6.2 Hemi delivering 707 horsepower to the Dodge Charger and Challenger, the Viper boys are reportedly looking for ways to get back on top. While the Viper may be superior on a tight racing course, the straight-line performance of Charger and Challenger, in five-seaters with all the amenities, large trunks, and automatic or manual transmissions, is a challenge for Team Viper — as is the current series of Corvettes....
Dodge and SRT are rejoining the Trans Am Series, with Miller Racing fielding two new Dodge Challengers at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 15 and 16. Driving will be four-time series champion Tommy Kendall, making his first Trans Am start since 2004 in the TA2 series class....
Though the Ram 1500 just had major upgrades, another refresh is due in 2017, to deal with the new F-150s and a possible Chevrolet Silverado update. So far not much is known about these trucks, except that they will likely include the Pentastar engine upgrade, might include the rumored 5.7 Hemi V8 upgrade, and are likely to have undergone weight reduction therapy with more high-strength steel and aluminum....