Infotainment. Connectivity. Not likely the first two items shoppers of the brawny Ram 1500 pickup truck and the brash SRT Viper sportscar put at the top of their “must have” lists. No matter, Chrysler is giving buyers of both vehicles a free trial of its Uconnect Access service.
According to a Chrysler press release, 2013 Ram 1500 and Viper buyers will be the first to experience the new service, which can offer on-demand WiFi connectivity that turns the vehicle into a WiFi hotspot capable of supporting multiple mobile devices, voice-activated texting capability, voice-activated location search powered by Microsoft’s Bing search engine, and more.
AutoGuide remarked that the WiFi hotspot idea, which carries prices ranging from $14.99 to $49.99, was strange considering many WiFi-enabled smartphones and other mobile devices have similar capabilities. Time will tell whether customers are willing to pay what in some parts of the country equates to the cost of a high-speed internet connection to enable their car or truck to do something their smartphone already does.
AutoGuide also noted that the Uconnect service suite offers manual or automatic access to an emergency contact when needed, similar to General Motors’ OnStar service.
Pricing for the service after the trial period has not been announced.