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Dashboard innovation: Chrysler's Uconnect downloadable apps

Dashboard innovation: Chrysler's Uconnect downloadable apps

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Chrysler's next generation Uconnect software adds applications, in-vehicle media and WiFi.

Chrysler's Uconnect software has been available for consumers on particular vehicle models for several years -- upgrading the company's cars by allowing access to various media services and WiFi connection.

In the next stage of Uconnect technology development, the company has unveiled a new feature -- downloadable apps.

The new version is called Uconnect Access, and will be available in the 2013 editions of both the Dodge Ram 1500 and SRT Viper models.

Uconnect Access is an 8.4 inch touch screen with an integrated media center. Not only can a user turn their vehicle into a WiFi hotspot, make hands-free calls, access roadside services or listen to media streams including satellite radio, but the current version includes a number ports (including USB and SB) to connect digital music. The upgrade will also allow drivers to download apps that have been 'certified' by the automotive company.

It is not known what applications will be downloadable to the dashboard, but the company described them as 'driving relevant' -- and controllable by both voice and steering wheel controls.

The press release explained:

Ram truck owners will be able to access select, certified in-vehicle applications. Driving-relevant applications will be introduced over time and are designed specifically for in-vehicle use. The certified applications are easily controlled with natural voice recognition or steering wheel controls to keep drivers focused on the road.

The responsive 8.4-inch touchscreen includes the award-winning user interface designed by Chrysler Group Human Machine Interface engineers, featuring large icons and visual cues allowing consumers intuitive control of system features.

Both vehicles will be available later this year.

Image credit: Chrysler

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Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure