Uconnect Market Launched Because FCA Customers “Live Busy Lives”

Uconnect Market 7 photos
Photo: FCA
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Two years after General Motors launched “the industry’s first in-vehicle commerce platform,” Fiat Chrysler Automobiles decided to roll out a commerce platform of its own. Uconnect Market is how it’s called, and FCA insists the purpose of this technology is to make the daily drive of customers “more convenient, productive, and enjoyable.”
First of all, read the beginning paragraph again. Ordering a Domino’s pizza while driving isn’t exactly safe, don’t you agree? And while the customer isn’t driving, the smartphone has an app for everything you’d imagine, including for ordering food from your favorite restaurant.

“Our customers live busy lives, and our goal with the Uconnect platform is to provide an advanced portfolio of services,” said Alan D’Agostini, head of Connected Services at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The higher-ups at FCA also plan to have all their vehicles connected by 2022, which is a necessary evil in this tech-crazed era of the automotive industry.

Uconnect Market has been developed in partnership with Xevo, one of the global leaders in connected car technologies and telematics. Xevo is specialized in cloud-based software solutions for enterprise companies, and to this effect, data protection could be a problem. Connected cars can create gigabytes of data every day, and lots of companies are interested in this information in order to push their products onto prospective customers.

OnStar, the communication service utilized by General Motors vehicles, changed its privacy statement in December 2011 to reflect this possible scenario. More to the point, OnStar “may share or sell anonymized data with third parties for any purpose.” Even more aggravating, data is collected even if the owner of the vehicle no longer pays for a subscription.

Turning our attention back to Uconnect Market, five services have been announced in the first instance. These are Wallet for credit card-connected payments, Service for scheduling service appointments, Fuel to list all nearby fuel stations, Food to make reservations at restaurants or order food, and Parking.

Making the customer’s life easier is a commendable effort, but FCA should work hard at securing the sensitive data from third parties and hackers alike. On that note, remember that cartoon caption by Peter Steiner from the 1990s? On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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