It’s time for the 2016 CES show in Las Vegas, and every single year it gets bigger and bigger with automotive companies taking part. While we’re expecting some big news from Ford and General Motors in the coming days, some news trickled out today regarding infotainment options from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford. Both companies will be supporting Android Auto and Apple’s Car Play on select models by the end of the year.
With Ford, all 2017 models that have SYNC 3 installed will support Android Auto and Car Play. The first vehicle to have it will be the 2017 Ford Escape. By the end of the year, owners of 2016 SYNC 3 vehicles will have a software update available so they can use either system if they wish.
Because the old system, MyFord Touch, is based on different hardware, it’s unlikely we’ll see an upgrade for the old system to support either Android Auto or Apple Car Play.
Also coming from Las Vegas is FCA announcing the 4th generation of their Uconnect infotainment system. We regard Uconnect as one of the best in the business, but they’ve only recently added support for Siri Eyes Free. They even made a statement about not supporting Android Auto or Car Play when some other OEMs made their announcement.
However, a new version of Uconnect, available on select 2016 vehicles, will include support for both systems. We’re not surprised to see FCA make this move, and like seeing the industry as a whole moving towards support of these two systems, along with their own infotainment options.
Expect more news out of CES over the next coming days.
January 4, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. and its subsidiary FCA US LLC are heading to the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas with a display featuring the latest technology advancements in FCA vehicles and will provide a glimpse of the new fourth-generation Uconnect system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
“The Uconnect team is evolving Uconnect and making it even better,” said Joni Christensen, Head of Uconnect Marketing, FCA US LLC. “With the launch of the fourth generation of Uconnect systems, we are continuing to minimize the everyday stresses of busy lifestyles by providing drivers with a variety of ways to stay conveniently connected to their vehicles, while making every drive exceptionally informative, entertaining and unique.”
FCA also will offer CES attendees an opportunity to be fully immersed in advanced technology with hands-on demonstrations of the 2016 Dodge Charger Pursuit with an all-new Uconnect 12.1 system and an FCA technology concept display that explores the future of intelligent transportation.
Fourth-generation Uconnect systems
In 2016, FCA will introduce a portfolio of Uconnect systems that include capacitive touchscreens, performance improvements of faster startup time, enhanced processing power, heightened touchscreen responsiveness, vivid touchscreens with improved resolution and brightness, the Uconnect 8.4 NAV system, and select others within the global portfolio will include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
- Apple CarPlay: Apple CarPlay provides drivers with a smarter, safer way to use an iPhone inside a car. Apple CarPlay seamlessly integrates an iPhone with the car’s built-in display and controls in addition to featuring Siri voice control. Now drivers can make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, get directions optimized for traffic conditions and more while staying focused on the road.
- Android Auto: Android Auto automatically provides drivers with a safer way to use Android while driving. The system will share useful information while you drive and makes it easy to access the best of Google. It features Google Maps with free voice-guided navigation, live traffic information, lane guidance; on-demand access to 30 million songs with Google Play Music; the ability to place phone calls or send and receive messages while keeping your hands on the wheel; and ask Google search any question. Android Auto also makes it easy to access popular apps and content from the Uconnect system’s touchscreen.
FCA creates the ultimate in-vehicle digital experience at CES
This year’s exhibit will feature a futuristic technology display property, immersing CES attendees in the company’s vision for intelligent transportation.
The digital technology concept explores how personalized driving experiences can seamlessly integrate a vehicle, technology, the environment and people to help drivers achieve Car. Life. Balance.
The concept explores:
- Predictive technology – Monitor driver’s daily habits, including traffic patterns, personal calendar events and personal preferences so the vehicle’s Uconnect system can deliver personalized information to the driver at the exact moment needed.
- Vehicle-to-X communication – Concept enables vehicles to communicate with each other and the roadside. FCA believes integrating wireless technology into the vehicle can help provide drivers with warnings and reduce the risk of such common crash types as rear-end, lane change and intersection crashes.
- Workload manager – Helps to limit distraction by recognizing when the driver may be in a critical driving situation and prioritizing which information is presented to the driver in those instances.
- Privacy mode – Detects when a passenger is present in the vehicle and can transfer the driver’s personal information from the Uconnect system to the driver’s instrument cluster.
- Intelligent concierge – A concept programmed to learn driver preferences and provide personalized suggestions in anticipation of driver needs.
The technology concept also explores how a vehicle can share location information with other vehicles on the road in the driver’s community, including:
- Community tagging – Enables the vehicle to identify hazardous road conditions and automatically share that information with community members who may be approaching the same location.
- Follow-me mode – Enables community members to request to follow other vehicles.
- Augmented reality heads-up display – Transforms the windshield into a display that provides information to assist the driver, such as blind spot detection, parking assistance and ice and snow road lane assists.
2016 Dodge Charger Pursuit featuring police-exclusive Uconnect 12.1
Designed exclusively to give law enforcement officers the upper hand, the all-new Uconnect 12.1 touchscreen system provides a fully integrated and exclusive approach to Dodge Charger Pursuit’s mobile command capabilities. The all-new Uconnect 12.1 features a 12.1-inch high-resolution touchscreen display that is more than five times larger in the center of the instrument panel. Uconnect 12.1 is ergonomically located and provides a large 1024-by-768 pixel display of Uconnect radio and vehicle controls, as well as the ability to toggle to a law enforcement officer’s computer via a menu bar at the top of the screen.
In addition, Charger Pursuit’s new Uconnect 12.1 system can split the touchscreen to display the familiar and award-winning 8.4-inch (640 by 480 pixels) Uconnect interface. Designed to be intuitive, Dodge Charger Pursuit’s cockpit includes redundant vehicle controls, such as radio and climate, located below the Uconnect system, while the driver can also use the switches on the back of the steering wheel, voice commands, the touchscreen display or the redundant knobs and buttons to control a bevy of vehicle options.
To visit the FCA booth, #3534, at the 2016 Consumer Electronics show, navigate to the North Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Visit www.DriveUconnect.com for more information about Uconnect.
About FCA US LLC
FCA US LLC is a North American automaker with a new name and a long history. Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. FCA US designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles under the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and FIAT brands as well as the SRT performance vehicle designation. The company also distributes the Alfa Romeo 4C model and Mopar products. FCA US is building upon the historic foundations of Chrysler, the innovative American automaker first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925; and Fiat, founded in Italy in 1899 by pioneering entrepreneurs, including Giovanni Agnelli.
FCA, the seventh-largest automaker in the world based on total annual vehicle sales, is an international automotive group. FCA is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FCAU” and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol “FCA.”
- Ford SYNC® AppLink™ adds new apps, including AAA member services, Concur expense report tracking and Eventseeker to find nearby music and other entertainment
- Apple CarPlay added to SYNC, giving iPhone users access to Maps, Messages, Phone and Music through Siri voice control or touch screen
- Android Auto™ enables easier and safer access to Google voice search, Google Maps, Google Play Music and more via steering wheel controls and touch screen
- New SYNC Connect technology powered by 4G LTE enables remote start, unlock doors, check fuel level and locate a parked vehicle via smartphone
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 4, 2016 – Ford is expanding its SYNC® connectivity system, adding Apple CarPlay, Android Auto™, 4G LTE and several new AppLink™ apps to help millions of consumers stay connected behind the wheel and even when they are away from their cars.
“SYNC allows customers to bring the smartphone technology they’re comfortable with into a vehicle and use it without hassle,” said Don Butler, Ford executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services. “With SYNC, we move at our customers’ pace – making it easy for them to maintain a connected lifestyle no matter their choice of smartphone, apps or services inside and outside their vehicle.”
With more than 15 million SYNC-equipped vehicles on roads around the world today and 43 million expected by 2020, Ford’s industry-leading communications and entertainment technology is offering customers even more connectivity. Connectivity is one part of Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics.
Starting this year, owners of SYNC 3-equipped vehicles will have more choice in how they access their smartphones in the car. iPhone users can activate Apple CarPlay, and Android users can activate Android Auto, two interfaces built specifically for those types of smartphones.
In addition, new SYNC Connect technology powered by 4G LTE gives owners the ability to remotely access features of their car. Owners can program a remote start, unlock doors, check fuel level or locate a parked vehicle via their smartphone.
In North America, Ford is making Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available on all 2017 vehicles equipped with SYNC 3, starting with the all-new Ford Escape. Owners of 2016 vehicles equipped with SYNC 3 will have an opportunity to upgrade later in the year.
SYNC Connect technology expands globally, reaching more than 20 million customers by 2020.
Take your apps with you
With AppLink – the SYNC feature enabling drivers to voice-control smartphone apps from the driver’s seat – Ford is making it even easier to create unique, personalized experiences.
The first apps using available vehicle information such as GPS location and mileage will be available this year, taking the in-car app experience to a more personal and customized level. Apps include:
- AAA/CAA: The app for AAA members in the U.S. and CAA members in Canada uses vehicle GPS data to allow users to access fuel prices, locate fueling stations and use the Here2there route planning feature, which includes traffic, on the move
- Concur: Upon starting a Ford vehicle, Concur users receive a prompt asking if they want to log a business trip. The app then starts clocking mileage from the odometer using vehicle data. Each time the car is turned off, this constitutes one trip recorded in the Trace Trip Journal. At the end of the day, the journal is complete, and the driver is prompted to reconcile the day’s trips
- Eventseeker: Users can discover events from behind the wheel that fit their interest profile based on vehicle location data, finding out more about artists playing nearby, wherever they travel in their Ford vehicle
- Cityseeker: Vehicle GPS data brings the best restaurants, nightlife and other attractions in more than 500 cities worldwide directly to the driver
- Tencent Chelian: Drivers can access China’s most popular social media platform,QQ’s messaging app, as well as music, real-time traffic conditions and streaming radio
Ford is further enhancing AppLink capabilities for developers. A new Send Location feature allows an app to integrate directly with the vehicle navigation system to provide seamless operation without the user having to touch his or her phone.
Debuting on Glympse, the vehicle automatically recognizes if a driver is actively sharing the real-time location via the app. SYNC AppLink will ask if the driver would like to be routed to that destination. The driver can then press Yes to start turn-by-turn navigation.
Apple CarPlay is compatible with iPhone 5 and later models. It works by plugging in the iPhone via USB, then the CarPlay interface appears on the touch screen. Apple CarPlay features Siri voice control, and seamlessly integrates an iPhone with the car’s built-in display and controls.
The integration makes it easy to make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, get directions optimized for traffic conditions and other features – all while keeping your eyes on the road.
Users of Android devices 5.0 and higher can bring their smartphone experience into their vehicle safely and easily. Convenient information, including Google Maps, Google Play Music and apps are projected onto the SYNC screen, offering seamless integration of the smartphone into the car. Google voice search answers any questions customers may have also while on the road.
SYNC: Nearly a decade of connectivity leadership
Ford SYNC is the world’s leading in-car entertainment and communications system, with more than 15 million vehicles on the road worldwide.
Launched in 2007, Ford SYNC was the industry’s first system to widely and most affordably offer voice-activated technology to control smartphones. The latest-generation system – SYNC 3 – features all-new hardware and software for faster performance, more conversational voice recognition, a smartphone-like touch screen, and easier-to-understand graphical interface for a growing number of Ford vehicles in North America.