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Review: 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Shows Off Solid CarPlay Integration With Uconnect Infotainment System

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is home to a number of vehicle brands, including Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and of course Chrysler and Fiat. All of these brands include FCA's Uconnect infotainment system, the most recent version of which, version 4, began making its way into vehicles for the 2017 and 2018 model years. Vehicles with Uconnect 4 support both CarPlay and Android Auto, and I recently had an opportunity to test out a 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited equipped with a Uconnect 4C NAV system that includes built-in navigation. The Pacifica Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid, and really the only such vehicle available in the minivan segment in the United States, so it has a lot going for it in that regard. With a charge that takes just a couple of hours with a 240V level 2 charger or more like 14 hours with a 120V level 1 charger, you get roughly 33 miles of battery-only operation. Otherwise, the Pacifica acts as a traditional hybrid, supplementing the gas engine and recapturing some energy through regenerative braking to recharge itself. Overall, the Pacifica Hybrid is rated at 84 MPGe (32 MPG in gas-only mode) and offers up to 570 miles of range. Overview of center stack infotainment system and other controls Unsurprisingly, my test vehicle was outfitted with lots of bells and whistles, including a 20-speaker Harman Kardon audio system that sounded great and a host of safety features including standard ParkSense sensors to alert of you of obstacles at front and rear, optional parallel and perpendicular parking assist that controls the steering wheel for you, and

'Fiat Chrysler' Articles

Fiat Chrysler Announces New UConnect Infotainment System With CarPlay Support

Fiat Chrysler today announced the debut of its fourth-generation UConnect infotainment system, which includes support for both CarPlay and Android Auto, reports Fiat Chrysler Authority. The revamped infotainment system features an updated 8.4-inch touchscreen with faster startup times, improved processing power, and a sharper display. It will be introduced initially in 2017 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Dodge Challenger models, bringing CarPlay to those vehicles for the first time. Fiat Chrysler previously previewed its fourth-generation UConnect infotainment system at CES in January and confirmed it would be released in select Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep models in 2016. For older Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram vehicles, Fiat Chrysler introduced a free software update in April that brought Siri Eyes Free support to many properly equipped 2013 to 2015 models. Siri Eyes Free is a precursor to CarPlay, designed to minimize driver distraction by using Siri to allow drivers to interact with an iPhone. CarPlay was first announced in 2013, but it took several years for vehicle manufacturers to adopt the new system. Since late 2015, CarPlay adoption has picked up and the feature is now available in more than 100 vehicles from dozens of manufacturers. Apple maintains an official master list of all CarPlay vehicles available in the United States and other countries. It is updated on a regular basis, but may not include new CarPlay vehicles as soon as they are

Uber in Talks With Fiat Chrysler Over Self-Driving Car Partnership

Ride hailing company Uber has held talks with Fiat Chrysler about a potential partnership involving self-driving car technology, according to The Wall Street Journal. The discussions are reported to be at a preliminary stage and a deal is yet to be confirmed, cautioned people familiar with the matter. Google uses Chrysler Pacifica Minivans in its self-driving initiative (Image: Chrysler) Chrysler is believed to be just one of several automobile makers that Uber has been in talks with in recent weeks, amid a "frenzy" of global alliances as the role of technology in transportation increases. Uber's desire to seek new partners follows Apple's $1 billion investment in Chinese ride hailing startup Didi Chuxing last month, while similar partnerships have occurred between the likes of General Motors and Lyft earlier this year. Also last month, Fiat Chrysler said it was working with Google to redesign the 2017 Pacifica Hybrid minivan and integrate its computers, sensors and software for testing purposes, in the same way that Google's own self-driving cars are currently a purely experimental initiative. Uber began its own autonomous driving project last year after hiring several robotics researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and opening its Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh. Testing has begun in that city and Uber plans to incorporate self-driving vehicles into its fleet by 2020. In related news yesterday, speaking at Alphabet's stockholder meeting, executive chairman Eric Schmidt responded to an audience question about when self-driving cars

Fiat Chrysler Adds Siri Eyes Free to Equipped 2013-2015 Vehicles

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has released a free software update that enables owners of properly equipped 2013-2015 Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram vehicles to add Siri Eyes Free capability to the Uconnect 8.4 system. The new software update is available in nearly 2 million vehicles equipped with a Uconnect 8.4 touchscreen system: - 2013-2015 Ram 1500, 2500, 3500 - 2013-2015 Dodge Viper - 2014-2015 Dodge Durango - 2015 Dodge Challenger and Charger - 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee - 2015 Jeep Renegade - 2015 Chrysler 200 and 300 Siri Eyes Free is also supported on 2016 Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Fiat vehicles with properly equipped Uconnect 8.4 or 6.5 systems. FCA previously announced that Uconnect will support CarPlay in compatible 2016 vehicles later this year. After entering a 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the Uconnect website, owners of the eligible vehicles can download the update to a USB drive and then install it on their Uconnect system, a process that takes about 30-45 minutes. Siri Eyes Free, compatible with iPhone 4s or later, is designed to help minimize driver distraction by using Siri voice recognition and spoken responses to allow drivers to interact with an iPhone without needing to look at the in-dash screen. Drivers can activate Siri Eyes Free by pushing and holding the voice recognition button on the steering wheel to, for example, place phone calls, send text messages, play music, set reminders, set calendar entries, access turn-by-turn directions, and more, while keeping their eyes on the

Fiat Chrysler Open to Working With Apple as VW Seeks Other Partners

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is in the late stage of talks with Google parent company Alphabet Inc. about an industry partnership involving self-driving car technology, according to automotive blog Autoextremist and The Wall Street Journal. Moreover, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has reportedly indicated that he is open to working with a tech giant, including Alphabet or Apple, in order to build more scale and help offset automotive-related production and development costs. On the contrary, Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller said that its ongoing discussions with potential partners to start new digital mobility businesses do not involve Apple or Alphabet, as reported by Reuters. The negotiations follow multiple reports that claim Apple is actively researching and developing an electric vehicle that could enter mass production by 2019 at the earliest. The so-called "Apple Car" team, known as "Project Titan" internally, is believed to include hundreds of employees that previously worked at Ford, General Motors, Land Rover, Tesla Motors, Texas Instruments, and elsewhere. Apple also reportedly failed to reach manufacturing partnerships with Daimler and BMW.