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UConnect Updates for 2016

by David Zatz on

Siri for Chrysler

For 2016, FCA’s UConnect systems will be upgraded again — an important change since now all vehicles, according to the company, come with the systems.

New features include a Drag and Drop menu bar, Siri Eyes Free, Do Not Disturb, SiriusXM Tune Start, and an on-screen vehicle guide that can be viewed via the 8.4-inch touchscreen. The graphics have also been updated and individualized more for each brand.

The Drag and Drop menu bar lets owners drag their favorite icon to the main menu bar.

Siri Eyes Free works with the iPhone 4S or later, and lets drivers speak natural-language commands to send text messages, play music, set reminders, place phone calls and access turn-by-turn directions. To activate it, one hold down the voice recognition button on the steering wheel until the Siri screen appears and they can hear the audible tones.

Siri messages are processed remotely, not by the car, which should increase accuracy and allows the greater flexibility. Chrysler did not mention whether the extra data exchange will be billed to the customer’s wireless account, but it seems highly likely since it works through the phone.

Those who do not want phone calls or text messages while driving can turn on the new “Do Not Disturb” and “Reply with Text Message” feature within the Uconnect system’s phone screen. It routes incoming mobile calls to voice mail and suppresess text messages; sending a customized response is optional.

Customers can now start songs from the beginning when switching between pre-set satellite radio channels.

The user guide is smart enough to know the car’s VIN and leave out irrelevant sections of the manual (e.g. not including diesel information for Hemi owners). The content is updated over the air.

These features are only available, for the moment, in the 2016
Chrysler 200 and 300, Dodge Challenger, Charger, Durango and Viper, Jeep® Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and Ram 1500, Heavy Duty and Chassis Cab.

The 2016 Uconnect systems have also been retuned for better performance, with new software and voice recognition algorithms to improve voice recognition, routing, and songs and application selection. New noise cancellation software helps to increase the quality and clarity of handsfree phone calls.

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