Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced its latest version of the Uconnect multimedia system, due to role out later this year.
With modern drivers demanding greater connectivity and smartphone integration than ever before, getting a car’s multimedia platform right is a big deal. FCA has found that 51 percent of buyers take such technology into account when choosing a new vehicle.
For Uconnect 5 FCA is promising a better overall user experience, aided by hardware that offers processing speeds up to five times faster than at present.
Easier smartphone integration options
With the lines between car and smartphone systems increasingly blurred, one of the big changes for Uconnect 5 is wireless integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
At present 80 percent of FCA’s vehicles in North America feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but the new Uconnect system will take this total to 100 percent coverage.
FCA notes that two phones will be able to simultaneously use Uconnect, potentially reducing (or inflaming) arguments over who gets to pick the music on road trips.
Bigger screens with a personal touch
Uconnect 5 itself makes use of a new Android operating system, delivered with more internal memory and faster response times for the larger 12.3-inch touchscreen.
FCA states that new bigger screen options can be mounted in both portrait or landscape fitments, with individual FCA brands able to tailor exactly how the screen looks in specific models.
Ultra HD screen technology is said to further improve the user experience, whilst drivers will be able to tailor the Uconnect home screen to their personal taste.
“Alexa, fire up the Hellcat”
Greater use of the Amazon Alexa ‘Uconnect skill’ will also be offered, giving drivers more options on how to use Alexa. Unlocking doors and remotely starting the vehicle will be possible from Alexa-enabled devices in the home for Uconnect 5 users.
In car, Alexa will be integrated directly into Uconnect 5, meaning drivers can ask the same questions of Alexa that they would at home. This includes getting weather updates, checking the news, requesting traffic information, or just playing music and podcasts.
Key to this is improved voice recognition, with FCA promising that it will operate more naturally and responsively to commands.
Updates across the airwaves
For those who still rely on integrated satellite navigation, Uconnect 5 will feature an improved service provided by TomTom. This will include over-the-air map updates, directions to charging stations for electric vehicles, and even walking directions via the Uconnect smartphone app.
FCA will also allow vehicle firmware to be updated remotely over-the-air, along with reminders about servicing and maintenance requirements.
New models featuring Uconnect 5 are expected to be available later in 2020, although FCA has not yet confirmed which particular models are first in line.