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UConnect may change shape

by David Zatz on

A source close to FCA reported that the next-generation UConnect systems, still in the works now, may have a wider range of screen layouts — and divorce the screen from the hardware driving it.

FCA launched its 8.4 inch screens in 2011, at the time the largest available; the system was generally praised for its ease of use, and won numerous awards.

2009 200C dashboard

Before that, though, Chrysler had been experimenting with different ways to show music, climate, navigation, and other car information. The 2009 Chrysler 200C concept presaged today’s cars by using custom-shaped digital screens for a wide range of displays, as did the more recent Chrysler Portal and Jeep Yuntu concepts.

digital displays

The source wrote that the next step was having two or three different layouts, “to make interior design a little more creative and to give more of a unique appearance and experience to each vehicle.”

portal-dash

A system similar to the 12.1″ Dodge Charger Pursuit unit is reportedly being planned; physical controls will still be used for key controls on all systems.

Top-end vehicles may have two UConnect screens — one for mechanical features, and another for the 360-degree camera and sound system — as the Portal concept does.

In the 2018 model year, each brand will get its own fonts and backgrounds. Over the next four years, there may be more features for the UConnect apps, such as personalized startup procedures (e.g. turn on heated seats), and more maintenance diagnostics. Voice commands are also going to be updated for faster response.

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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