Jeep will become the first automaker to use Amazon’s Fire TV system in a mobile application when it launches its Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer models later this year.
Fire TV is a service aggregating a wide range of content, including movies, TV shows and games. It also offers Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. A customized version will be integrated into the Uconnect 5 infotainment platform developed by the old Fiat Chrysler.
“The all-new 2022 model year Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are designed and engineered to set a new standard for American premium in the large SUV segment,” Christian Meunier, Jeep Brand Chief Executive Officer – Stellantis. “Launching Fire TV for Auto as an industry-first technology to the Wagoneer lineup illustrates one of the many ways we intend to deliver class-leading technology and connectivity to our customers.”
New Wagoneer models set to debut
Jeep showed off a prototype Grand Wagoneer last September. The production version of the new Jeep SUV, as well as the less expensive Wagoneer model, will debut on March 11. The two vehicles will start rolling down the assembly line for the 2022 model-year.
The Wagoneer name has been out of use since 1991 and now will serve as the Jeep flagship. It joins the updated Grand Cherokee in offering three-row options to the brand’s buyers.
Jeep said the Wagoneer’s Fire TV will sync with traditional Amazon Alexa technologies, including other Fire TV devices. A customer could pause a show they’re watching at home, then continue viewing it from the vehicle.
Wagoneers to offer first-of-its-kind front passenger screen
Rear seat passengers will be able to watch a program on their own screens, as with traditional in-car entertainment systems. Jeep confirmed today the new Wagoneers will add an optional front passenger screen, as well. It will allow someone up front to view video programming. A privacy filter will prevent the driver from watching. The driver will be able to watch from the main Uconnect touchscreen when the vehicle is shifted into Park.
Motorists can download “compatible content” to the Jeep ahead of time for trips where they might not have good connectivity.
The system also allows passengers to access the Alexa voice assistant, both to control Fire TV and perform other functions. That could be used, among other things, to turn on lights or adjust the thermostat when heading home after work.
The voice assistant also will let motorists control a number of vehicle functions.
Fire TV “reimagined”
“We reimagined Fire TV for the automobile with a purpose-built experience that delivers the best in entertainment, anywhere you go,” said Sandeep Gupta, vice president and general manager of Amazon Fire TV. “With Fire TV built-in, customers can stream your favorite shows, see if you left the lights on at home with Alexa, and take advantage of unique controls through the Uconnect system.”
It is becoming increasingly common for automakers to integrate voice assistant technology into their vehicles, going beyond early voice-controlled infotainment systems. By accessing the cloud they can respond to more natural language and introduce new content.
This could become even more important in the years ahead, experts believe, especially when autonomous vehicles come to market. Automakers as diverse as BMW and start-up Byton hint at plans to offer new, in-vehicle services that would provide new revenue sources.
New video tech will show up on other Stellantis products
A Jeep representative wouldn’t say whether the automaker will receive a cut of fees generated by pay-per-view programs on Fire TV.
The Uconnect Fire TV will launch in the U.S., Canada and Mexico this coming autumn, Jeep said.
A well-placed insider told TheDetroitBureau.com it would be a proper assumption” that the Fire TV technology will make its way into other vehicles produced by the company now known as Stellantis.