Chrysler Group is equipping some of its lower-trim vehicles with a Microsoft-based infotainment system used by Fiat -- and, according to the software maker, more vehicles are on the way.
The change is noteworthy because the new system will share a name with Chrysler's highly regarded infotainment system, called Uconnect, but will operate differently with Microsoft software. A company called QNX Software Systems provides nearly all the software and other technology for Chrysler's Uconnect infotainment system. Chrysler's QNX-based infotainment system has been heralded widely by critics for its ease of use, options and sophistication.
Microsoft's Windows-based system, called Uconnect 5.0, debuted in 2012 in the Fiat 500L five-door hatchback in Europe. It is now being installed on lower-trim versions of the 2013 Ram 1500, according to Chrysler.
In the Fiat 500L, Uconnect 5.0 features a 5-inch touch screen; support for multiple devices, such as smartphones, tablet computers and media players; and the ability to install applications and services. For example, it accepts Fiat's eco:Drive app, which provides engine and emissions data, and will soon be available with support for TomTom navigation.
The system is standard in the 500L, which is due to arrive in dealerships in the United States this summer.
A spokesman for Chrysler declined to comment on Microsoft's assertion that it will be used in future products. He did say Chrysler is happy with its current QNX-based Uconnect system.