Chrysler Uconnect Access: When the new generation of Uconnect arrived in the 2013 Ram 1500, Technology of the Year judges began chattering on AOL’s instant-messaging system about how easy it was to use, improving on what was already a pretty good system. Uconnect Access offers one-button emergency assistance, voice-controlled texting, the ability to monitor a vehicle’s performance, a smartphone app that allows locked doors to be opened when keys are locked inside and headlights to be flashed in a crowded parking place if drivers lose track of where they’ve parked. There is an on-demand wireless hot-spot. The Bing-powered search app is voice-activated and helps find points of interest, specific destinations, restaurants, gas, etc. And it all worked smoothly for our judges.MyFord Mobile: Controlling our cars, houses and lives through smartphone apps is becoming more and more common. And one of the best we have seen is MyFord Mobile, which launched with the new Ford Focus Electric. One of the Technology of the Year judges experienced one of the benefits when he locked keys in the car, and was able to unlock the doors with his phone. With the Ford Focus Electric, the app also allows the driver/owner to view the EV’s remaining battery charge, control charging (this may be set to charge automatically during the cheapest utility-rate hours), remotely operate and set timers for the climate control, plan trips that get sent to the navigation system, and find charging stations.
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