Jeep Has Unique Vision For The Future Of Off-Roading

Off-Road / Comments

You can do the famous "Jeep Wave" digitally.

Stellantis is doubling down on connected vehicles and subscription services in the near future. The technology will enable a host of new features, and Jeep has shown us how this can improve off-roading. We think the concept of connected off-roading is both a good and bad idea.

As part of the Stellantis Software Day, a new video called "Freedom Connected" was released and provides a glimpse into the future of the Jeep community and how technology could be used to enhance the off-road experience. In essence, it's the digitalization of the famous Jeep Wave.

Jeep focuses heavily on the idea of stories, which is a great angle. The Wrangler may have fallen behind newer rivals like the Ford Bronco and Land Rover Defender. Still, it has been around for longer, and there are millions of fantastic stories attached to this iconic 4x4 like everything it did during WWII, for example. But mostly, it's just stories of friends and families going on the kinds of adventures you remember for a lifetime.

How do you carry that over to the next (connected) generation? Well, you start by sourcing off-road trail data. In the future, a feature called Jeep Trails will come pre-loaded with over 6,000 off-road trails. Over-the-air (OTA) updates make it possible to continuously add to this selection of maps or even provide real-time information on the condition of whatever off-road trail you're planning on tackling.

OTA updates also make it possible to refine a car over time, especially if it's electric. We know there's kickback against the electrification of vehicles, but at this point, it is, to quote Thanos, inevitable. Europe recently dropped every Wrangler model apart from the 4xe, and the first Jeep EV is set to arrive in 2023.

Jeep/YouTube
Jeep/YouTube
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We think an electric powertrain is perfect for off-roading. Jeep rightly points out that it's much easier to enhance the vehicle's performance via over-the-air updates. Jeep can add new driving modes tailored explicitly to specific 4x4 trails, for example.

The Group Ride function makes it possible to locate and communicate with members of your 4x4 community, even if you're off the grid and not connected to any network. An augmented reality head-up display will give you valuable off-road-related information without having to move your eyes from the road.

The video also shows someone using one electrified Jeep as a charging source for another. Will this be a standard feature on the Magneto? The ability to share range is an exciting concept.

Jeep/YouTube
Stellantis

On the downside, many people go off-roading to get off the grid and away from people. The video clearly shows one Wrangler providing info on another Wrangler owner in the area. You can then "wave" at the unknown person. It's like Facebook poking, but for off-roaders. To be fair, we're sure every connected Jeep will come with an "off" function so that you can hide from other overly friendly Wrangler users.

The final feature is one we think Wrangler owners will like. As with the poking, Jeep borrowed another idea from Facebook. You can create your own profile, which will show other Wrangler owners images of your car and what modifications you made to it.

It's like Tesla's dating app, but less depressing.

Jeep/YouTube
Jeep/YouTube
Jeep/YouTube
Jeep/YouTube
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