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Jeep to show off Wrangler technology at CES

Latest Uconnect on display, and also debut of Jeep Adventure Reality app

Joe Duarte
Published: January 5, 2018, 9:05 PM
Updated: January 9, 2018, 9:04 PM

2018 Jeep Wrangler on display

The all-new Jeep Wrangler is heading to Vegas with some bling, in the form of new technology such as the latest generation of Uconnect and the debut of the Jeep Adventure Reality app, to show off at CES 2018.

“The all-new Jeep Wrangler is developed and engineered with more safety features and advanced technology than ever before and we are proud to showcase our commitment to meet consumers’ increasing desire for unique and innovative vehicle connectivity,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep. “Our award-winning Uconnect systems are designed to provide consumers with a variety of conveniently connected services and features that deliver the ultimate driving experience, and that evolves both on- and off-road with Jeep Wrangler.

Uconnect Navigation screen

The fourth generation of Uconnect features an 8.4-inch display with sharper graphics, 4G LTE connectivity with Smartphone integration for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, enhanced processing power and multi-touch gestures. It also adds four all-new connected services and features — Smartwatch compatibility, family alerts, online navigation search, and Drive ’n Save insurance monitoring.

The Uconnect App is now compatible with Apple Watch and Android Wear Smartwatches, allowing the same connectivity to the vehicle as is available through a Smartphone — remote start, door locking/unlocking, and panic/find me visual alerts (horn sounding and lights flashing). The service is available from the respective app-stores, and works with SiriusXM Guardian connected services.

AppleWatch with JeepCommand app

Later in 2018, linking SiriusXM Guardian with an Amazon account will also allow users to open a Jeep “skill” through an Amazon Alexa or Echo device, which will then allow owners to use voice commands to remotely start the vehicle’s engine, lock and unlock doors, send navigation instructions to the vehicle, and check fuel and tire pressure levels.

Also working with SiriusXM Guardian, Family Alerts allows vehicle owners to pinpoint the location of the vehicle, set boundaries and time limits for vehicle use (including a valet alert when the vehicle is driven 400 metres beyond the drop-off location), and monitor driving speed, making it especially useful for parents with beginner drivers.

Jeep Wrangler in Jeep Adventure Reality virtual reality setting

Because of the geo-location links, Family Alerts requires the Uconnect 4C Nav system, with alerts being sent to the owner’s Smartphone via text or email message.

Drive ’n Save uses Uconnect Access or SiriusXM Guardian connected services to monitor driving habits, such as reducing night-time-driving, and economical acceleration and braking. Working over three months, the system collects information on how the vehicle is driven, and assigns a personalized driving score. The higher the score, the better the discount available by insurance providers when the private data is shared with them by the vehicle owner (meaning bad driving habits won’t increase insurance rates).

Jeep Wrangler interior in Jeep Adventure Reality app

With online search for Uconnect navigation, drivers will not miss out on the restaurant that just opened, for example, with recommendations now available directly from the cloud, through the built-in cellular connection. Conversely, it will also not show listings for places that are no longer in operation.

The other big news is a new way for Jeep customers to configure their vehicles on their Apple devices (iPhone 7, 8 and X, or iPad Pro) using augmented reality, meaning they can see how their configured vehicle would look sitting in their driveways, in their assigned work parking spaces, or even in their living rooms.

Jeep Wranger in Jeep Adventure Reality app using augmented reality

As with other configurators, users can change bodystyles, colours, wheels and trim add-ons, but they can also open and close doors, go inside the vehicle to virtually see what it’s like behind the wheel, honk the horn and turn the wheels. And most importantly for Wrangler owners, they can remove roof panels, put the soft top up and down, remove doors, put the windshield down.

Once finished, users can also use the Apple panoramic displays to see the vehicle in a virtual reality setting, moving the device side to side to get an all-around view, and they can also share the finished product in its ideal setting on social media, or with a dealer to begin the purchasing cycle.