Going forward, it looks like there’s nowhere to stay out of the reach of connectivity software as long as you stay on the Earth’s surface. This won’t always be a bad thing, if we’re to believe Jeep’s potential plans for connected communications features for the Wrangler. In a one-minute video called “Path Connected,” the off-road brand gave a glimpse of how it could capitalize on parent company Stellantis’ push into software services and subscriptions. One such idea is called Jeep Trails, a package of more than 6,000 routes that an owner can preload into the Uconnect navigation system. Of the various concepts featured in the video, it’s a wonder Jeep hasn’t rolled out yet.
The following are over-the-air updates, which you would expect to be a necessary part of any automaker’s arsenal. There are simply too many software features in a vehicle that become outdated or bugged too quickly — with more programs and apps on the way — to leave owners at the mercy of such alleged features. The caption for OTA updates sells “continuously and effortlessly improve the technology of your Jeep 4×4”, which is similar to the TikTok challenge, “tell me how to get a subscription service or a menu of cost-to-unlock features start without telling me.”
Group Ride would be a really handy service, like Apple’s Find Your Friends app, but it’s Find Your Friends’ Jeeps on or off the trail. Like a social network, owners upload Jeep 4×4 profiles with their Wrangler information, such as a specific model and modifications, and then make their profile available to any Wrangler in the area. A party of Wranglers could also set up special groups to keep track of every member of the party.
Finally, there is an augmented reality display that can also be of great use if desired, projecting important vehicle or trail information onto the trail.
Jeep hints that the technology could work even without cellular connectivity, a must for the kind of trails Jeepers like to roam, but won’t elaborate on how that would work. Watch the video to see where Jeep is going.