Fiat Chrysler and Ford unveil new systems at CES

Fiat Chrysler and Ford unveil new systems at CES

The 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas has become an automotive showcase due to Fiat Chrysler and the Ford Motor Company revealing their latest in-car connectivity functions.

Fiat Chrysler is to demonstrate the new fourth-generation Uconnect system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a preview of the latest technology advancements in FCA vehicles.

Thousands of New Zealand drivers are using the Uconnect system and benefitting from its integration of communications, navigation, entertainment and car control systems into one, easy to use touchscreen system.

The Uconnect fourth generation will start to arrive in New Zealand as select new models arrive.

In 2016, FCA will introduce a portfolio of Uconnect systems that include capacitive touchscreens, faster startup time, enhanced processing power, heightened touchscreen responsiveness with improved resolution and brightness, the Uconnect 8.4 NAV system, and selected vehicles will include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Apple CarPlay provides drivers with a smarter, safer way to use an iPhone inside a car. It seamlessly integrates an iPhone with the car’s built-in display and controls in addition to featuring Siri voice control.

Drivers can make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, get directions optimised for traffic conditions and more while staying focused on the road.

uConnect_Four_0002Android Auto automatically provides drivers with a safer way to use the Android mobile operating system 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.

Check the fuel in your Ford from the comfort of your couch.

Ford is exploring linking smart devices such as Amazon Echo and Wink to its vehicles to allow consumers to control lights, thermostats, security systems and other features of their homes from their car, and to stop, start, lock, unlock and check their vehicle’s fuel range from the comforts of their couch.

Ford will link the home automation devices with its vehicles through Ford SYNC. This comes as half of the U.S consumers say they will buy at least one smart home product in the next year, according to Icontrol Networks.

“Consumers increasingly want to stay connected to their homes while on the move,” said Don Butler, Ford executive director, Connected Vehicle, and Services. “Linking smart devices such as Amazon Echo and Wink to vehicles via SYNC would fulfill that desire, and allow consumers to connect with their cars even when they aren’t behind the wheel.”

With more than 15 million SYNC-equipped vehicles on roads around the world, today and 43 million expected by 2020, Ford’s technology are offering customers more connectivity.

Ford is looking to use new SYNC Connect technology to link vehicles with the Amazon cloud-based voice service Alexa, which would allow customers to access their car from inside their home.

Using Amazon Echo, a hands-free speaker and voice command device that interfaces with Alexa, Ford owners could request assistance with various functions of their car including: starting and stopping the vehicle, locking and unlocking and well as state range and charge status of their electric vehicle.

Owners could also check fuel level, distance to empty, verify vehicle mileage summary and ask to be provided with the vehicle’s current location, with details of the street name, and the driving time and distance to the driver’s home.

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