The new “Uconnect Access” service from Chrysler will debut in the 2013 RAM 1500 pickup truck and 2013 SRT Viper supercar. A free service trial will be offered to those who buy any of the two vehicles. The length of the trials will vary from six months to a full year depending on vehicle configuration. During the trial period, the drivers can experiment with Chrysler’s new system, which functions like GM’s OnStar service in several ways. Buttons positioned under the rear-view mirror permit access. However, the system can’t work as concierge just like it does in General Motors’ cars. Rather, Uconnect Access makes use of a cloud-based technology to provide what Chrysler claims to be more natural voice-to-text service, better voice navigation commands and generally easier access to its features.
The incoming text messages can be read aloud by the system. WiFi is available to occupants on demand with daily, weekly and monthly rates. But then, these rates aren’t exactly cheap. One day of internet is priced at $15 while using it for one week costs $30. A subscription costs $50 each month. All subscriptions will be coursed through Chrysler’s partnership with wireless provider Sprint.
Notably, the system has also been designed to work with smartphones that generally have separate data plans that offer the same features. It won’t just offer entertainment and cellular connectivity. There’s access to emergency services from the second mirror-mounted button. Just like the OnStar, Uconnect agents will be present to remotely lock and unlock your car. The driver can do this using a PIN-protected smartphone app.