Jeep enlisted Amazon’s help to take in-car entertainment to the next level. It announced the upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will inaugurate Fire TV for Auto technology that will let passengers watch their favorite shows.
Although neither SUV has been revealed, we saw the Grand Wagoneer as a close-to-production concept in 2020. It revives a decades-old nameplate and honors its heritage by packing more premium features than any Jeep before it, but there’s absolutely nothing retro about it. Four screens face the front passengers: one replaces the instrument cluster, two are embedded in the center stack, and the fourth is positioned on the right side of the dashboard.
It’s these screens that will transform the SUVs into a living room on wheels. Fire TV for Auto will give users the option of synching their Amazon account via the Uconnect5 infotainment software to bring the entertainment they watch on their television into the cabin. Passengers will be able to watch their favorite shows and movies while traveling at 75 mph on the freeway, or while they’re stuck in rush-hour traffic downtown. And, because the account will be synced, they’ll have the ability to pause a show in their house and pick up where they left off in the car.
Jeep explained only the front and rear-seat passengers will be able to view content while the SUV is moving, and a privacy filter allegedly ensures the driver isn’t tempted to stay entertained, too. However, motorists will be able to stream shows on the main infotainment screen if the transmission is in park. Connectivity is useless in areas with no network connection, so users will be encouraged to download content at home (when they’re connected to Wi-Fi, for example) to ensure it can be viewed in the middle of the Nevada desert without interruptions or roaming charges.
Users who order the feature will receive a special remote control that includes push-to-talk access to Alexa to quickly find shows and a button that links the technology to the Android-powered infotainment system. Alternatively, they’ll be able to navigate the different menus (including apps and channels) via the dashboard-mounted screens.
Digital services are big sources of revenues for carmakers and tech companies alike. Jeep pointed out Fire TV for Auto will be bundled with other connected services when it’s available in the fall of 2021. There’s no word yet on how much it will cost, and whether an additional subscription will be required to use it, but it certainly won’t be free.
Jeep will introduce the 2022 Wagoneer and the 2022 Grand Wagoneer on March 11, so we won’t have to wait long to find out more about both SUVs. Sales will start in the coming months. Nothing suggests Fire TV for Auto is Jeep-specific, so the technology will undoubtedly spread to models built by other carmakers in the coming years.