Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is working with Google to develop its future infotainment system software, and will show a concept of that integration at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The demonstration involves a Chrysler 300 that has had its 8.4-inch Uconnect display software replaced with a system based on Google’s Android 7.0 Nougat.
FCA says that working with Google would allow the company to retain the feel and functionality of its current Uconnect infotainment system (pictured above) while integrating the many features and apps available for Android devices. The Android open-source operating system is widely used on tablets and smartphones. The demo at CES will show that the in-car system can control not just climate control and the radio, but also works with apps like Google Maps, Pandora, Spotify, NPR One, Pocket Casts, and Google Assistant.
“This collaboration with Google has been an extremely beneficial opportunity for both companies to explore how in-vehicle infotainment and connectivity technology continues to evolve, and what it takes to meet consumers’ increasing desire for innovation of information with minimal distraction,” Chris Barman, FCA head of electrical engineering, said in a statement.
FCA will not hold a press conference at this month’s Detroit Auto Show to focus its attention on CES, signaling the brand’s attention to in-car technology. The automaker already has a partnership with Google subsidiary Waymo to develop a fleet of self-driving Pacifica Hybrid minivan prototypes.
Many car infotainment systems already support Android Auto, which allows smartphone owners to use their device’s features on the car’s built-in display.
FCA and Google are using CES 2017 to demonstrate a seamless integration of the award-winning Uconnect 8.4-inch connected vehicle system featuring Android, the world’s most popular open-source operating system.
A hands-on concept demonstration of the power of combining Uconnect with Android is on display at CES, Jan. 5-8, inside a Chrysler 300 sedan.
FCA is in collaboration with Google regarding the next-generation connected car systems enabled by the power of an open platform and ecosystem of Android.
“This collaboration with Google has been an extremely beneficial opportunity for both companies to explore how in-vehicle infotainment and connectivity technology continues to evolve, and what it takes to meet consumers’ increasing desire for innovation of information with minimal distraction,” says Chris Barman, Head of Electrical Engineering, FCA. “With Android, we are able to maintain our unique and intuitive Uconnect user interface, all while integrating our easy-to-use systems with Android’s features and ecosystem of applications.”
CES attendees can get one-on-one demonstrations of the Uconnect system powered by the latest version of Android, 7.0 Nougat, which includes core infotainment features such as radio and comfort controls.
The Uconnect and Android integration also enable a system that is built for connectivity and compatibility with the universe of popular Android applications. The demonstration will show a seamless integration with Google Assistant, Google Maps and popular Android apps like Pandora, Spotify, NPR One and Pocket Casts.
“Google is committed to building Android as a turn-key automotive platform that integrates deeply with the vehicle in a safe and seamless way,” said Patrick Brady, Director of Android Engineering, Google. “This collaboration with FCA brings together the industry standard for connected car systems with Android to create powerful infotainment systems designed for the digital age.”
To visit the FCA exhibit, #6306, navigate to the North Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center from Thursday, Jan. 5 – Sunday, Jan. 8.