The first Fiat model equipped with the infotainment system will be the new Fiat 500 L, which is being produced in Serbia. The Continental infotainment system will then be rolled out across further models in the Fiat/Chrysler realm.
With this new system, which began development in December 2010, the driver has access to analogue and digital radio or navigation functions on a 5 inch touch screen. There is also an option to connect digital music sources via USB and to use the hands-free function for smartphones through a bluetooth-interface. As in earlier Fiat infotainment systems, the new head unit runs under Microsoft's operating system Windows Embedded Automotive and features text-to-speech as well as voice recognition, allowing drivers to utilize functions of the infotainment-system without taking their hands off the steering wheel.
The head unit allows for new software functions to be installed on the system after the start of series production. Thus the system can be adjusted to the changing preferences of the driver over the vehicle's complete lifecycle. Additionally the system defines new ecological benchmarks: the Fiat Group's eco:Drive, which will be integrated into the infotainment-system, can help the driver contribute to the reduction of consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 12% through analyzing driving parameters in real time (acceleration, deceleration, gear shift change and cruise speed) and giving suggestions for more eco friendly driving.
The new infotainment system was developed at Continental locations in Wetzlar (Germany), Regensburg (Germany), Deer Park (USA), as well as Guadalajara (Mexico) and Singapore. For Fiat/Chrysler the production will start in July 2012in Brandys (Czech Republic), and will at a later date also take place at the Continental plant in Nogales, Mexico.