Chrysler Brings In-Car Internet to the Lots
It's been known for a while that Chrysler has been developing an in-car Wi-Fi system for the 2009 model year. However, the name and specs have been eluding us. Yesterday, Chrysler put out a press release offering some insight into the new system.
The Wi-Fi capability, called Uconnect Web, will be offered alongside a package of other technologies such as Uconnect Phone, Uconnect Tunes, Uconnect GPS and Uconnect Studios. Uconnect Phone is a fairly straightforward hands-free calling system. A microphone in the cabin detects and transmits your voice while the person you are talking to can be heard through the audio system. It can also be used to store your phonebook, addressed and appointments. For the more business oriented owners, Chrysler also decided that 3-way calling and conference calls needed to be available. The process is a little more complicated, but I would say it's well worth it.
Uconnect Tunes comes with a 30GB hard drive that can be used to store music and photos as well as playback videos. For safety reasons, videos will only be available for playback if the vehicle is in park and running, or under auxiliary power. Chrysler didn't say if movies could be stored on the hard drive.
Uconnect GPS is a touch screen navigation system that has built in voice recognition and has a list of pre-loaded points of interest. Uconnect Studios is Chrysler's way of offering SIRIUS Backseat TV. Even though the only channels available are Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network, if you spent a substantial amount of time in your car, that's more than enough to keep a handful of kids busy.
There is no official word on pricing or if all the technologies will be available across the board. The backseat TV will most likely be reserved for SUV's and Minivans for reasons of space. Either way, depending on the price, the entire package covers just about everything a person needs to work from their vehicle.