One thing is known about police forces – they love their large vehicles. But by the time you fit in all the electronic equipment, it tends to make a full-sized cabin feel more like a subcompact. Well, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has the solution with the new Dodge Charger Pursuit.
Today’s police vehicle conversions add a slew of equipment mounting hardware to accommodate multiple displays, computers and other communication devices. The added features not only compromise space but often hide vehicle function controls, can be distracting to the officer and could be safety hazards in crash situations.
The 2016 Pursuit features the first integration of law enforcement data system into the renowned centre-stack Uconnect system, starting with a larger touchscreen … as in five times larger than that on the standard production Charger; and, larger than most of today’s tablets. As bonus, the integration of the required hardware also does not interfere with airbag deployment, which is a big safety checkmark, and it retains the manufacturer’s three-year/36,000 mile warranty (3/60,000 km, in Canada).
“As America’s high-performance police vehicle, Dodge Charger Pursuit is going big for 2016, offering a massive Uconnect touchscreen system that streamlines a law enforcement officer’s computer system with our easy-to-use Uconnect system – on an all-new laptop-size 12.1-inch touchscreen display,” said Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO of Dodge and SRT Brands, and FCA’s Vice President of Fleet Operations in North America.
The high-resolution 1024x768 pixel screen was designed exclusively to give the police package full integration of vehicle controls and all the plug-and-play law enforcement mobile command goodies (available through a menu bar at the top of the screen). And of course, select vehicle function controls are also located below the touchscreen and on the steering wheel.
The system includes all the latest technologies, including Bluetooth connectivity, SD card slot, rearview camera display, and USB and AUX ports. An additional auxiliary button allows other components to be plugged into the system (lights, sirens, cameras, etc.)
One of the problems with touchscreens is their inability to sometimes work in cold conditions, but FCA claims it has been tested to work at temperatures as low as -40 Celsius, and also to work with gloved hands.
The Uconnect 12.1 system was developed with input from FCA’s 19-member police advisory board, and prototypes were tested in Los Angeles Police Department Dodge Charger Pursuits in 2012. Production of the 2016 Dodge Charger Pursuit starts in March, with ordering starting early in the new year.
There are no immediate plans to include the larger screen on consumer vehicles, though Charger forums are already speculating on future production and the FCA release itself says it would be an easy step.
“As technology continues to evolve, the next wave of Uconnect features and services is in constant progression and our latest Charger Pursuit application with our massive 12.1-inch touchscreen display is just a taste of our in-house capabilities to expand and integrate different technologies for our customers,” said Joni Christensen, Head of Uconnect Marketing.