Talking with Chrysler at CES this year inside of a 2013 Dodge Ram took us on a very cool journey. Chrysler Group introduced the Via Mobile package, which allows full Internet radio into your vehicle from your phone. AM/FM, HD Radio and SiriusXM are all included, as expected, except Chrysler will be the first to offer the fully merged and integrated SiriusXM lineup into their vehicles with exclusivity for a limited time. There is also a media hub available in the center console. A USB port, SD port, aux port, USB charge-only port and Bluetooth streaming all compliment the 8.5" resistive touch screen that resides in the dashboard.
Enhancing the experience is a brand new navigation system that takes up the entire screen, complete with 3D models, pan-and-zoom, traffic (through SiriusXM). One cool, subtle feature that brings the entire nav together is called One-Step Destination Entry, where you can use your voice and give a command in one breath, such as "Navigate to (address)." You can also give the system points of interest, which commands such as "Find Nearest (name of place)."
What's cool about the Apps Button is that all of your embedded apps, plus all of the apps from your phone, are displayed together through the dashboard screen, fully integrated using the Via Mobile package. Apps like iHeartRadio and more all connect to the dashboard, forcing the phone to turn off when the vehicle is in motion, which reduces distracted driving. Chrysler has partnered with Sprint as well and has embedded a 3G radio into their 2013 vehicles. With that, pressing the 911 button will take you immediately to a 911 dispatcher and not to a call center and queue. Better yet, it's using Sprint's integrated signal to make the call without tying up your cell phone line. Using the Assist app will display three different call centers: roadside assistance, uConnect to answer questions about your online account and smartphone app and the vehicle-specific call center to answer questions about problems you may have with your vehicle.
No announcements on timing, vehicle availability or pricing has been announced yet, but Chrysler said to stay tuned for news on that very soon.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLuGHiTz Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the DDR community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bar Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and judging engineering notebooks at competitions. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors.