Special Report: Vehicle Entertainment/Communication

Chrysler Group Announces Name of In-Vehicle Communications System

"U-Connect" Highlights System's Personalized, "Take-it-Anywhere" Sense of Freedom
Auburn Hills, Mich. January 8, 2002 -

Chrysler Group announced today "U-Connect" as its in-vehicle communications system. U-Connect debuts this spring when Chrysler Group offers the service as an after-market item in its vehicles, with factory-installed availability in early 2003.

"We wanted a name that is easy to remember and truly represents our system," said Wolfgang Bernhard, Chrysler Group Chief Operating Officer. "With U-Connect, the central focus is 'U', the user. Our system provides exactly what Chrysler Group customers are looking for – affordable and flexible services that match their specific lifestyles."

U-Connect embraces the system's competitive advantage. Unlike competitive offerings, the system's communication is driven through a user's wireless phone. Using Bluetooth technology, U-Connect is adaptable to specific needs and lifestyles; consumers can use their current carrier and telephone number; or sign-up for enhanced services with AT&T Wireless. (It's hassle-free, using one phone, one phone number and one bill.) U-Connect also allows multiple phones to be used within the vehicle's system, adapting to an individual or a family.

U-Connect uses Bluetooth technology, a short-range wireless technology that enables different devices to connect to each other without cables or wires. It is a low-cost, low-power consumption, highly flexible technology that is the global standard in the wireless industry. U-Connect is the first generation in a family of hands-free, voice-activated, Bluetooth-powered offerings.

The Chrysler Group announced its industry-first vehicle communications system in October 2001. The offering focuses on voice and data communication tools in the automobile, with an emphasis on personal mobility and consumer choice. The company recognizes the need for in-vehicle solutions, which meet the specific needs of its customers in both the luxury and volume production markets. U-Connect is hands-free, offering safer vehicle operations.

Upon entering the vehicle, the mobile phone connects to the vehicle's electrical architecture using Bluetooth technology. Once the system is engaged, the phone audio is fed through the vehicle's existing speaker system, overriding the radio.

Research shows that 70 percent of all mobile phone minutes are used inside vehicles. *

* Source: Crystal Mountain Group