At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show currently being held in Las Vegas, Fiat Chrysler set up a display in order to introduce visitors to some of its latest high-tech innovations, including new functionality for the Uconnect infotainment system, compatibility with the Amazon Alexa voice service, and a new augmented-reality app for iOS-powered mobile devices. As vehicles continue to head in the direction of increased connectivity and more embedded tech, automakers like FCA are figuring out how to leverage these new tools to deliver the most value to customers.
Uconnect Adds Smartwatch Connectivity, Family Alerts, And Safe-Driving Discounts
For the avid smartwatch user who enjoys showing off, model-year 2018 FCA vehicles with SiriusXM Guardian connected services will allow customers to remotely start and lock/unlock the vehicle, sound the horn, or flash the lights from their smartwatches through the Uconnect mobile app. This functionality is available for both Apple Watch and Android Wear devices alike.
In addition, a new Uconnect feature called “Family Alerts” allows FCA vehicle owners to keep tabs on whoever is borrowing the car that day, available on any 2018 vehicle with SiriusXM Guardian connected services. The list of available alerts includes Boundary Alerts to give a heads up whenever the vehicle leaves a geo-fence boundary, Curfew Alerts to enforce curfew times, Speed Alerts to ensure that the car is being kept below a set speed limit, and Valet Alerts to ping owners whenever their car is taken outside a 0.25-mile radius from the valet drop-off zone. All of these parameters can be set through the Uconnect smartphone app, with alerts arriving in the form of an email or text message.
Finally, Drive n’ Save is a new feature that allows the owners of FCA connected vehicles to save money on auto insurance by demonstrating good driving habits like smooth acceleration, cautious braking, and keeping late-night driving to a minimum. It’s available with 2018 model-year vehicles with either Uconnect Access or Sirius XM Guardian, and when enrolled, the vehicle’s Uconnect infotainment system will automatically collect and send data to participating car insurance providers, while also generating a “driver score” for the driver to view at any time. The system will even administer friendly tips on how to drive more safely to bring that score up.
Amazon Alexa Learns The ‘Jeep Skill’
In Amazon Alexa parlance, a “skill” is a capability, and Alexa’s new “Jeep skill” means that Jeep owners can access their vehicles through the Amazon Alexa voice service, using the Echo or smaller Echo Dot to issue voice commands pertaining to the vehicle. Available commands include some that can start the vehicle’s engine remotely, lock or unlock the doors, send navigation instructions, and check fuel and tire pressure levels. The Jeep skill will become available around mid-2018 on the all-new Jeep Wrangler, provided that it has SiriusXM Guardian connected services enabled.
Jeep Unveils A New Augmented Reality App
If you’ve got an iPhone 7, 8, or X, or an iPad Pro, you can take advantage of the all-new “Jeep Adventure Reality” app unveiled at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. The app allows users to configure a brand-new Jeep, selecting their own internal and external color options, trim level, and configuration, and then view the finished vehicle in their driveways or living rooms virtually. Users can interact with the virtual vehicle by opening or removing doors, raising or lowering the windshield, turning the wheels, turning the headlights on or off, and honking the horn.
If a user likes the finished product well enough, he or she can share it on social media, or link to the Jeep website to get more information.