Uconnect Gives L.A.P.D. Big-Screen Treatment

Sep 27, 2012, 11:30 ET from Chrysler Group LLC

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Sept. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Prototype Uconnect display eliminates clutter for improved ergonomics, officer safety
  • Expands Uconnect's largest screen to 12.1 inches
  • Award-winning Uconnect interface integrated with law-enforcement applications
  • L.A.P.D. to receive test vehicle for real-world evaluation

When the Los Angeles Police Department pondered how to unclutter their cruisers, Chrysler Group LLC suggested they stay focused on the big picture. Literally.

Advancements in law enforcement have put highly effective new tools in the hands of police. Laptop computers with data-protection protocols have replaced two-way radios for the transmission of sensitive information, such as crime-scene details and suspect identities.

But this new technology also has exacted a price. Police vehicles now are jam-packed with additional displays and keyboards and mounting brackets that not only compromise comfort, they pose a risk to officer safety in the event of a collision.

Enter engineers from Chrysler Group's Uconnect brand of innovative in-vehicle connectivity solutions.

"We saw a clear opportunity to adapt our easy-to-use Uconnect interface for the benefit of police officers and, by extension, society at large," says Marios Zenios, Vice President-Uconnect Systems and Services.

Uconnect's trend-setting 8.4-in. display screen that delivers easy access to functions such as in-vehicle audio and navigation, could not accommodate all the information required by law-enforcement applications. So, Chrysler Group teamed with Continental Engineering Services to develop a 12.1-inch screen capable of displaying data, graphics and video specific to police use.

Data input is handled more ergonomically via a keyboard – Bluetooth-enabled or hard-wired – that is securely stowed when the vehicle is in motion or unoccupied.

And with the touch of a button, the high-resolution screen transitions to reveal controls for all-important vehicle systems, such as climate control.

A concept version of the ground-breaking system will be unveiled in a Dodge Charger Pursuit at the 119th Annual International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference in San Diego, which runs from Sept. 29. to Oct. 3.

Following the conference, Chrysler Group will put three fully-functioning systems on the road in a trio of Charger Pursuits. Chrysler Group engineers will accumulate test miles on one vehicle, while the other two will be deployed with the L.A.P.D.

The project reflects Chrysler Group's solid commitment to its fleet customers. "We strive not only anticipate customer needs, but to deliver feasible solutions in a timely manner," says Peter Grady, Vice President-Network Development and Fleet.

Lt. Dan Gonzalez, who heads the L.A.P.D.'s tactical technology section, worked with Uconnect to develop the new display. "The over-arching reason we're involved in this is to provide a higher level of safety for the officer," he says.

Other auto makers have attempted to consolidate displays in a vehicle's center stack. Results were mixed.

"From this project, we have created a less-confining vehicle cabin," Gonzalez adds. "Increased safety and a better cabin experience is a 'win-win.'"

Uconnect's groundbreaking display screen and interface have been widely acclaimed by the automotive media. It has been cited twice for excellence by judges of Ward's 10 Best Interiors.

SOURCE Chrysler Group LLC