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Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Chrysler announces the rolling WiFi hotspot automobile

Chrysler is set to unveil the UConnect Web System on Thursday, and rolled into production vehicles next year. Turning a car into a moving broadband WiFi hotspot it will enable Internet access direct from the dash. With support from Microsoft, the system could see speedy success.

Other technical innovations coming from Chrysler next year include dual DVD players and screens with ports to connect games consoles and portable media players. There's also the SIRIUS Backseat TV with live programming delivered directly to the vehicle. An enhanced voice-activated Bluetooth hands-free can command and control navigation systems, satellite radio and voice mail. The new audio systems will feature full iPod integration.


2 page Article Link:
iTWire - Chrysler announces the rolling WiFi hotspot automobile
 

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The UConnect Web device, which will be hidden within the car, will work only with the key in the ignition to help ward off piggybacking on the signal. It will operate on the 3G network using a cellular-based signal, Leung says, and will allow download speeds between 600 and 800 megabits per second, with upload speeds of 200 mbps.

Chrysler is introducing the device as a new feature in its UConnect system, which provides Bluetooth connectivity and MP3 player integration with the car’s stereo, similar to rival Ford’s Sync. The Web connectivity, however, ratchets things up a notch.

Asked why such a device is necessary, Scott Slagle, senior manager for global marketing strategy at Chrysler, said: “I just think there’s this whole thing of the super-connected society. It’s a nation of always wanting to be connected, wherever you are. There’s a demand for that.”

As a fun added feature, Chrysler said UConnect Web would allow passengers in Chrysler vehicles with TV monitors –- such as minivans –- to hook up Net-connected video game consoles including the Nintendo Wii. Whee!


LINK:Information superhighway: Chrysler to turn 2009 vehicles into mobile Wi-Fi hotspots | Technology | Los Angeles Times
 

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Chrysler LLC Launches Umbrella "uconnect" Name for Connectivity Technologies

Chrysler LLC Launches Umbrella "uconnect" Name for Connectivity Technologies
June 26, 2008

Auburn Hills, Mich. -

Today’s consumers are passionate about staying in touch and want to be connected no matter where they are – home, work, school or vehicle. To focus on the experience and connect customers to the things that matter the most, Chrysler LLC will now bundle innovative consumer technologies under one umbrella name – “uconnect.” The function of the feature is directly in the name – uconnect phone, uconnect tunes, uconnect gps, uconnect studios and uconnect web.

“We set out to connect customers to the things that matter most to them,” said Deborah Meyer, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer – Chrysler LLC. “The role for ‘uconnect’ in the 2009 model year places the focus on the customer experience and how the features will make their life easier.”

Following are the definitions of the uconnect features.

uconnect phone
What it does: Uses Bluetooth® technology to provide voice-controlled wireless communication between the occupants’ compatible mobile phones and the vehicle’s onboard receiver. New for 2009, the hands-free system automatically downloads up to 1,000 phone book entries from supported phones. The system also recognizes three languages, and is capable of learning. Voice commands can manage onboard phone book entries, select radio stations and access voice mail. Voice memos can be recorded using the microphone that’s integrated within the rearview mirror. Three memos of up to thirty seconds each can be stored in the system. The hands-free option promotes safety, freedom, value and flexibility.
Availability: Chrysler 300, Aspen, PT Cruiser, Sebring and Town & Country; Dodge Avenger, Grand Caravan, Caliber, Challenger, Charger, Dakota, Durango, Journey, Nitro, and Ram; Jeep® Grand Cherokee, Commander, Compass, Liberty and Patriot

Part of uconnect phone on select Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles is an iPod interface, which allows an iPod to be plugged into the vehicle’s sound system to play music through the vehicle’s speakers, charge/recharge the iPod when the ignition is on, display artists and music choices on the radio and pause play when uconnect phone receives a phone call. The iPod can be controlled through the radio controls and the remote steering wheel switches (if equipped). The system uses a Universal Customer Interface (UCI) connector located either in the glove box or in the center console, depending on vehicle model.

uconnect tunes
What it does: uconnect tunes includes the following features for music, movie and personalized picture display:
A 30-gigabyte hard drive for ripping up to 6,700 songs from CD or USB memory devices in compressed format (either MP3, AAC or WMA file formats)
Photos can be loaded onto the hard drive, allowing the customer to personalize the home screen
Movies can be displayed on the screen for entertaining passengers when the vehicle is in Park (as permitted by the state regulations)
Availability: Chrysler 300, Aspen, Sebring and Town & Country; Dodge Avenger, Caliber, Grand Caravan, Challenger, Charger, Journey, Nitro and Ram 1500; Jeep Commander, Compass, Grand Cherokee, Liberty and Patriot

uconnect gps
What it does: uconnect gps combines the features of uconnect phone and uconnect tunes with navigation and real-time traffic. The system includes an integrated voice recognition system and touch screen for easy operation. The voice recognition system also recognizes more than 100,000 words and can input addresses, which allows the customer to enter destinations while the vehicle is in motion.
Availability: Chrysler 300, Aspen, Sebring and Town & Country; Dodge Avenger, Caliber, Grand Caravan, Challenger, Charger, Journey, Nitro and Ram; Jeep Commander, Compass, Grand Cherokee, Liberty and Patriot

uconnect studios
What it does: uconnect studios offer optional SIRIUS Backseat TV™, featuring three channels of family TV programming, and optional SIRIUS Satellite Radio, with more than 130 channels of the best music, entertainment and information coast to coast. The systems can be bundled or opted for independently depending upon model availability, and either can be operated from the rear-seat entertainment unit or from the radio head unit.

Chrysler’s uconnect studios offer optional SIRIUS Satellite Radio which provides more than 130 channels, including 69 channels of 100 percent commercial-free music, plus sports, news, talk and entertainment. Station selection with the radio is easy, using the same familiar method as choosing an AM or FM station. Consumers are able to scan channels or have preset buttons for their favorite channels. They can also search both by music category and channel, which is displayed on the radio screen
Availability: SIRIUS Satellite Radio is available on all Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles

Chrysler’s uconnect studios offer optional SIRIUS Backseat TV which features three channels of family TV programming: Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network. SIRIUS Backseat TV operates via an in-vehicle satellite video receiver and two small roof-mounted antennas. Programming is displayed on the vehicle’s second- and/or third-row video screens, and channel name, program title and rating is broadcasted and displayed on the screen. In addition, when the vehicle is in Park, programming can be displayed on the uconnect tunes or uconnect gps screen for front-seat viewing (as permitted by state regulations). New for 2009 in the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan are larger nine-inch rear-seat video screens that swivel
Availability: Chrysler 300, Aspen and Town & Country; Dodge Grand Caravan, Charger, Durango, Journey and Ram 1500; Jeep Commander and Grand Cherokee


uconnect web
What it does: The system will provide high-speed data transfer and flexibility, combining WiFi and cellular connectivity for a new level of wireless technology. The system transforms the vehicle into a “hot spot” to deliver the Internet directly to the vehicle, for instant access to Web sites, e-mail, personalized music, online gaming, photo albums, and more.
Availability: Chrysler plans to offer aftermarket in-vehicle “hot-spot” wireless Internet capability through Mopar® for Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles.

Chrysler LLC
 

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The technology, called UConnect, will allow users with WiFi enabled devices like laptops and iPhones to connect to the in-car wireless network for Internet access, either in the car or up to 100 feet away.

The system will cost $499 including installation, plus $29 per month for Internet access. No word on what company will provide the connection, but we do know the system also includes iPod integration and the company's multimedia solution that includes an in-car 30 GB hard drive to store music and movies.


LINK: Chrysler to offer in-car Wi-Fi next year -- is this the future of automobiles? | The Industry Standard
 
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