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2008 Detroit Auto Show; Chrysler to Connect with New Level of Advanced Wireless Technology

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  • SEE ALSO: Complete 2008 Detroit Auto Show Coverage
  • DETROIT, Jan. 14 -- Chrysler LLC announced at the North American International Auto Show today that it is working aggressively to develop an advanced, in-vehicle wireless communications system that provides increased security and convenience, and goes well beyond what systems currently available provide.

    "We recognize that customers are spending more and more time in their vehicles, and that the automobile is becoming much like an additional room in the home or office," said Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President - Product Development, Chrysler LLC. "To address this evolving reality, Chrysler vehicles will soon boast an unprecedented level of vehicle connectivity, delivering a wide array of important communications features directly to our customers, in their vehicles."

    Chrysler's technology roadmap for vehicle connectivity includes Cellular, WiFi and ultimately WiMAX broadband wireless technology, which allows high- speed wireless communication with the same convenience of a cellular phone. WiMAX will feature significantly higher speeds and bandwidth versus today's systems, in order to transfer large amounts of information quickly.

    Cellular connectivity is available today, has a broad range of coverage and works very well for limited amounts of wireless information. For example, phone conversations.

    A short range network or "hot spot," WiFi transfers high-volumes of information wirelessly. With WiFi it is possible to access the internet, email or even to download movies and music from the car.

    Chrysler's future generation of wireless connectivity will bring in- vehicle wireless communications technology to a new level: high-speed data transfer without the need for a hot spot, courtesy of WiMAX broadband wireless technology. WiMAX has the potential to deliver greater volumes of information on the fly.

    "Chrysler's in-vehicle communications strategy will continue to focus on creating a safe-driving environment through practical innovations, while enabling customers to choose a variety of features they want," said Klegon. "Chrysler's connectivity solutions will deliver simplicity, security, freedom and flexibility."

    Klegon said the following features will be coming to Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep(R) vehicles over the next few years:

       -- Turn-by-turn navigation combined with satellite imagery to provide
          more realistic maps
       -- Automatic wireless map updates, to ensure that drivers will always
          have the most up-to-date map information. Real-time weather and hazard
          information will also be available
       -- Electronic service reminders, delivered directly to the vehicle
       -- Internet search
       -- E-mail access, to include access to e-mail accounts, read-out of
          messages using text-to-text speech, and sending messages via voice
       -- The ability to make on-line purchases, view streaming movies and
          download music
       -- Remote vehicle computer updating - Wirelessly download software
          updates for any electronic module
       -- Wireless audio and video file transfer from home computer to car

    Cellular, WiFi and WiMAX integration are only part of Chrysler's advanced electronics umbrella, which also includes exclusive Sirius Backseat TV, the MyGig infotainment system, vehicle-to-vehicle/infrastructure integration, satellite connectivity and other wireless technology programs.