Fiat Chrysler’s new software Uconnect 5 is based on Android, adds Alexa support and boosts OTA updates

Fiat Chrysler (FCA) today announced Uconnect 5, the latest version of their vehicle infotainment system. The new system introduces tons of new features for upcoming cars such as Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Fiat including integrated Alexa connectivity, enhanced over-the-air firmware updates, and wireless compatibility for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Uconnect 5’s core is entirely new hardware: the Atlantis architecture, replacing the previous Powernet one, coupled with a change to a highly skinned Android version on the software side of things. The updated Atlantis hardware is much more powerful. It features a stronger processor, 6 GB of RAM and up to 64 GB of flash memory, plus support for higher resolution displays (up to 12.3 inches and UHD resolution). The FCA says the upgrades should make the new Uconnect 5 systems up to five times faster than the old system.

The new software also offers improved over-the-air firmware updates which have been a problem for FCA in the past. Last year, the company ran into issues with changes to OTA Uconnect. Many firmware upgrades can be completed in the background seamlessly while others will allow consumers to head up to a dealership.

Before this, FCA sponsored Amazon’s Alexa assistant through an Alexa app, allowing customers to do things like starting their cars or locking their doors with an Amazon Echo. Uconnect 5 takes it a step further by adding native Alexa access to the vehicle itself for monitoring music, sports or weather updates, and more.

Uconnect 5 works much better for smartphones, too. For users who have multiple phones for personal and work use or just like fighting over who gets to pick the music, you will be able to connect two phones simultaneously right now. Wireless CarPlay and Android Auto are also supported.

FCA supports optimised 4 G LTE with Uconnect 5 hot spot Wi-Fi features, allowing customers to make transactions at dealerships through the car’s gas app, take-out orders, and maintenance.

Last but not least, Uconnect 5 introduces multiple user profiles, making it easier for various drivers to switch between personal settings for radio settings, air conditioning and mirror and seat positioning.

FCA hasn’t announced which cars will get Uconnect 5, although the new hardware system means that the new features will probably not be available as a software update on older models. The FCA plans to roll it out later this year on new cars.

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