Chrysler's Uconnect system has given drivers access to media and in-vehicle Wi-Fi for a few years, but the company has unveiled the next generation of the software, which introduces something new: downloadable apps. The new version, called Uconnect Access, will be available in the 2013 editions of both the Dodge Ram 1500 and SRT Viper, and comes in the form of an 8.4-inch touch screen media center, which looks to be an updated version of what's included in the 2013 Dodge Dart. As with previous versions, Access lets you create a Wi-Fi hotspot, make hands-free phone calls, and access entertainment options like SiriusXM satellite radio, among other features. But new Ram and Viper owners will also be able to utilize new "certified" apps from their dashboard.
Chrysler hasn't revealed just what these apps will be, but they're described as "driving-relevant" and can be controlled by both your voice and steering wheel controls so that you can stay focused on the road. You'll also be able to download and update these apps over-the-air from the built-in media center. The upgraded Uconnect will also provide improved access to emergency services — which on the Ram includes a 911 button on the rearview mirror — and the media center features what Chrysler describes as "more information" and "improved graphics" compared to previous versions. Both vehicles will be available later this year.