In-car navigation has gone mainstream. Once the exclusive domain of upscale luxury models, and even then, often carrying a hefty four-figure price tag, it's now available on entry-level models. Thanks to competition from affordable portable units, the option price has come down significantly, now an add-on option on many models already equipped with a touch-screen head unit, activated by the use of an SD card or other media.
But Chrysler has taken the concept a step further by offering the industry's first dealer-activated navigation option. All the necessary hardware and software is already built into the vehicle, just requiring a dealer activation code to unlock the capability. The feature will be initially offered in the 2013 Ram 1500 and 2014 Fiat 500L crossover. The system offers the same capability as the preordered navigation option, including points of interest, junction views, lane guidance, speed limits, and trip programming. The price for the navigation activation will be $595 for the Ram. Pricing has not yet been officially announced for the Fiat.
Also announced at the CES show was Chrysler's new suite of Uconnect Access Via Mobile apps, which includes popular streaming audio apps Pandora, Slacker, Clear Channel's iHeart Radio, and Aha by Harman. The app interfaces include the familiar functions of the respective apps displayed on the touchscreen interface, including the well-known thumbs-up an thumbs-down on Pandora, and the Heart and Ban buttons on Slacker.
The Aha app features more than 30,000 stations of audio content, including music, internet radio and news, audiobooks, and Facebook and Twitter feeds.