Jeep to offer connected services to keep off-roaders on-route – Driving

Whether it ends up being called “Path Connected” or “Freedom Connected,” it’ll be handy to those who forge their own trails
Car companies have, en masse, figured out what telecom companies have known for years: there’s a lot of profit in monthly recurring charges. Latest out of the gate? A program called ‘Path Connected’ which promises to, among other things, help Jeep owners keep track of their buddies off-road.
We’re not entirely sure the brand has yet settled on a name for this potential feature, since it is also called ‘Freedom Connected’ in other parts of the bumf. Whatever its name, the concept explores the potential of connected software technology such as a subscription service intended to offer pre-loaded trails maps and vehicle-to-vehicle communication capabilities to Jeep owners who like to take their rigs off-road.
Here’s the real bonus to such a program: since it relies on satellite tech, it will work in areas bereft of cellular connectivity, a reality of most off-road environs in which Jeep owners like to wheel their rigs.
This isn’t a wholly new concept, since Polaris offers something similar in its RideCommand suite of services, though it will be new to the world of road-legal vehicles. The tech at Polaris permits riders to plan trail rides, drop waypoint markers, and communicate directly with other RideCommand-equipped machines via a text-like function.
In practice, it’s a great way for all hands to know where the group is going on a trail ride, not to mention the benefit of the system tracing one’s driven route in case you get turned around in an unfamiliar area.
Elsewhere, the new Grand Cherokee L is taking a few technology cues from big-bro Wagoneer in the 2022 model year. Customers will be now able to spec a 10.25-inch passenger display on the GCL, along with dual 10.1-inch rear seat entertainment displays with built-in Amazon Fire TV.
In the never-ending arms race of screen sizes, Jeep can now boast more than 50 inches of display surface when they’re all added together – which no actual human does, by the way, since that would be like inviting yer buddies over to watch the World Juniors by saying you have 100 inches of television — only to find four 25-inch CRTs all in different rooms.
As for the Path (or Freedom) Connected, this could be another arrow in the quiver of weapons Jeep has against the new Bronco. But remember — as a monthly service, don’t pay too much attention to the ‘free’ in ‘freedom’, okay?
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