Those trials will range from six months to a full year depending on vehicle configuration. During that period, drivers will be able to experiment with Chrysler’s new system, which functions in some ways like GM’s OnStar service.
Buttons mounted beneath the rear-view mirror allow access, but the system won’t be able to function as a concierge as it does in General Motors’ cars.
Instead, Uconnect Access uses cloud-based technology to offer what Chrysler says will be a more natural voice-to-text service, better voice navigation commands and generally easier access to its features.
The system will even be able to read you incoming text messages, although anyone whose friends have an imaginative sense of humor might be better off avoiding it.
Vehicle occupants will also have access to WiFi on demand at daily, weekly and monthly rates. Those rates aren’t particularly cheap, though. A day of internet costs $15, while a week doubles up to $30. Finally, you can pay $50 per month for a subscription, all of which will be run through Chrysler’s partnership with wireless provider Sprint.
It seems a little strange given that the system is also built to work with smartphones which generally have separate data plans that can provide the same thing.
Of course, there’s more than entertainment and cellular connectivity available. Te second mirror-mounted button provides access to emergency services. Much the same as OnStar, Uconnect agents will also be able to remotely lock and unlock your car, something the driver can also do through a PIN-protected smartphone app.
Post-trial pricing is still unannounced and will be available later this year, the automaker says.