Chrysler introduces UConnect Touch; To compete with MyFord Touch

Excertps from The Detroit News:

The 2011 Dodge Journey will debut the next generation of Chrysler’s Uconnect connectivity system.

An 8.4-inch touch screen is the command center for the new Uconnect Touch that customizes everything from navigation and portable devices to climate controls and audio commands.

Like the MyFord Touch Sync system, Uconnect works with a smartphone as opposed to General Motors Co.’s OnStar, which is embedded in the car.

Chrysler was the first North American automaker to offer Bluetooth technology in 2003, but Uconnect has not received the publicity that Sync and OnStar have had, said Alan Amici, Chrysler head of electrical and electronics engineering, in an interview following a panel discussion at the Society of Automotive Engineering Convergence 2010 conference in Detroit.

Uconnect Touch will debut in the Journey and two other vehicles in the next few months, Amici said, without identifying the other two.

Chrysler has many candidates, including the new Dodge Charger and Durango and a freshened Challenger, minivans and midsize sedans.

Uconnect Touch “is competitive with Sync, and plans are in place for the next generation already,” Amici said, to keep up with the fast-paced world of telematics, in which smartphones are debuting constantly. Amici would not provide a timeline.

The touch screen was deemed important enough that the interior of the Journey was designed around it, he said.

A new instrument panel has a larger cluster and new gauges backlit in Dodge red. There is more knee room for the driver, extra cushion on the armrests and a larger center console with outlets to charge portable devices.

Courtesy: The Detroit News.

Note: Harman recently announced that it has won Chrysler and Fiat infotainment contracts.

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