FCA Shows Off Uconnect System Concept Powered by Android at 2017 CES
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles made headlines last month when it announced it would be skipping the Detroit Auto Show and instead would be showcasing its newest technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
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That new technology turned out to be the Uconnect System Concept Powered by Android, which the automaker equipped inside a 2017 Chrysler 300 sedan. This concept uses the newest version of Android—7.0 Nougat—to provide consumers with an entertainment system that has greater app support and is also much more customizable. People can operate this advanced tech via the car’s Uconnect 8.4-inch infotainment system and FCA will be offering hands-on demonstrations of its newest tech at the Consumer Electronics Show, Jan. 5-8.
Besides offering popular apps such as Spotify and Pandora, the Uconnect System Concept Powered by Android will also support Google Maps, Google Assistant, Pocket Casts, and NPR One. In addition, this new technology gives Chrysler the ability to customize the interface of its new infotainment system, which is a stark contrast to the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay operating systems. Both of those look exactly the same in each type of car they are used in. This limits an automaker’s ability to customize the dashboard inside its vehicles.
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“This collaboration with Google has been an extremely beneficial opportunity for both companies to explore how in-vehicle infotainment and connectivity technology continues to evolve, and what it takes to meet consumers’ increasing desire for innovation of information with minimal distraction,” said Chris Barman, Head of Electrical Engineering, FCA. “With Android, we are able to maintain our unique and intuitive Uconnect user interface, all while integrating our easy-to-use systems with Android’s features and ecosystem of applications.”
At this point, the new Android car system is still just a concept, but it does provide a possible preview of what future FCA vehicles could look like inside their cabins. Furthermore, this new tech could help boost the public image of FCA infotainment systems, especially since two hackers were able to take control of a Jeep Cherokee last year using just a laptop computer. FCA has since offered an update to its Uconnect system to help prevent any future hacking of its vehicles.
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