Jeep showcases new Off-Road Locator and other future tech features


Jeep has unveiled a host of ‘concept features’ that could be offered on its next-generation range.

The new technologies were shown in a video published by the automaker, titled ‘Freedom Connected’.

The clip hints at what is to come for the brand and is headlined by an off-road navigation system with over 6000 pre-loaded trails, as well as the ability to communicate with other Jeep drivers – even without an active mobile service.

Jeep Future Software 1


This compatibility includes a ‘Group Ride’ feature that can show the location of other Jeep drivers within an off-road party and provide information about their vehicle – including any modifications that have been fitted, the colour of the car, and where the owner resides.

In addition to connecting with known Jeep drivers, the vehicle-to-vehicle functionality can also extend to unknown motorists, which could be handy if a vehicle is lost or broken down off the beaten track.

Jeep Future Software 3


Drivers can also acknowledge Jeeps surrounding them by sending a digital wave via a concept version of the built-in UConnect 5 touchscreen – an Android-based infotainment system set to debut in Australia next year on the new Grand Cherokee.

Another addition is an augmented-reality head-up display (HUD), which can project relevant information onto the windscreen with greater detail than a traditional HUD.

Jeep Future Software 7


As demonstrated in the video, the augmented-reality display can be used to show aspects such as vehicle speed, navigation data, and off-road information. It also suggests the charging status of a plug-in hybrid or full-electric 4×4 could be displayed on the windscreen projection.

Over-the-air software updates could also allow upcoming models to gain additional features beyond the showroom, much like a Tesla vehicle. The ability to update the software wirelessly is available on the new Grand Cherokee, although it is limited to aspects of the infotainment system (such as map updates) rather than the vehicle as a whole, as showcased here.

Jeep Future Software 4


Although these are purely conceptual developments, Jeep’s parent company Stellantis announced plans to introduce subscriptions for certain vehicle functions and three new technology platforms powered by artificial intelligence – STLA Brain, STLA SmartCockpit and STLA AutoDrive – earlier this week.

As part of a push to raise €20 billion (AU$31.65bn) in revenue from its vehicles by 2030, the conglomerate also confirmed future models will include a new ‘proactive’ digital assistant – with companies such as Foxconn, Waymo and BMW stepping in to assist with various aspects of the software offensive.

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