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Confirmed: Chrysler using MS for UConnect

by David Zatz on

Long ago, Chrysler standardized on the highly regarded QNX operating system for its in-car entertainment and control systems. QNX, a UNIX-based system, is used for robotics and other embedded systems, and is designed primarily for reliability, security, and efficiency (it is also the basis for Blackberry 10). Chrysler’s QNX-based UConnect system has gained industry-wide acclaim for its ease of use and reliability, in stark contrast to Ford’s and Fiat’s Microsoft-based systems.

As Allpar reported last week, however, Fiat has “re-upped” its use of Microsoft’s embedded operating system, which it adopted around 2006; and Microsoft is advertising that its system will be used on Chrysler and Dodge cars as well. Allpar’s story was revised around a day after the original posting to reflect reader RVC’s belief that UConnect 5.0 would be the Fiat-Microsoft system, while UConnect 8.4 would be the Chrysler-QNX system.

Automotive News’ Larry Vellequette appeared to confirm this split, noting that the 2013 Ram 1500 comes with a UConnect 5.0 option. The system includes the ability to run downloaded software, such as Fiat’s own eco:Drive “app,” and will soon support TomTom navigation, as a similar system in the Fiat 500L does (Fiat has used TomTom for some time). The Automotive News story noted that Chrysler’s spokesman would not comment, but said that “Chrysler is happy with its current QNX-based UConnect system.”

Note: the images show the Fiat 500’s system as it appeared in 2012, not the “UConnect 5.0.” 

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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