“We thought it would restrain customers if we picked one or the other,” he said. “So we ended up with both.”
That led to the second decision: How advanced should it be?
Uconnect strikes a compromise. There are mechanical controls as well as the 8.4-inch touch screen. The new Ram and Viper have an embedded 3G modem that makes them a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Meanwhile, Chrysler’s strategy is: “Let the consumer decide when to migrate from mechanical controls to touch screen,” Zenios said. So Chrysler offers eight ways to deliver music and three ways to control climate.
“Technology to us is an enabler. Not an end game,” he said.
Analyst Sullivan loves it. “It has large buttons, has fast response rates and just works. It is simple and does what it is intended to do.”
Michael Noblett, with IBM global business development, said infotainment systems are a must.
“If a customer goes on a test drive, and there isn’t a sophisticated system, they notice,” he said.
Everyone is experimenting with how to leverage the technology, Noblett said. “I don’t know who’s got it right, but it’s great that they are all working on it.”
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