Jeep’s future technology may include follow-me drones and off-road autonomy

Jeep’s off-road SUV management is under fire in a way that has not happened in decades. Between the launch of Ford’s new Bronco and Bronco Sport, Land Rover’s reborn Defender and Toyota’s ever-growing onslaught of TRD models, Stellantis 4×4 brand is exposed to unprecedented pressure. The iconic brand, which casts a cautious eye on the trail, telegraphs that it is ready to bring a range of new innovations to the segment to maintain its position as the SUV world embraces electrification. At Thursday’s several-hour virtual Stellantis EV Day conference, Jeep teased a range of future technologies, including everything from peer-to-peer EV charging to a unique drone tracking feature under the brand’s new Zero Emission Freedom banner.

Jeep quit to ensure that these technologies will emerge in future models (the video vignettes’ terrain vignettes included a disclaimer that said, “Concept models and features, and fictitious situations displayed throughout. Future models and features may vary”). But many of these features are already technically feasible today, so it would not be surprising to see some of them incorporated into future models soon.

The idea of ​​using one Jeep to charge another in a jiffy is simple, yet ingenious.


Peer-to-peer charging

The 21st century equivalent of sucking gas between tanks to save a friend, Jeep teased “peer-to-peer” charging, essentially connecting one electrified vehicle to another to share juice. While such a feature can be of great help in city life, it is even easier to imagine the potentially life-saving benefit of electron sharing between vehicles and vehicles in the wilderness, where efforts to end power are often significantly higher.

At the moment, Jeep is already at an early stage of building one solar powered off-road charger network for electric cars in North America, including places like the Rubicon Trail.

Imagine setting up a drone’s follow me feature via your Jeep’s infotainment screen to record all your adventures.


Drone-drone mating

It is already possible to use a number of off-the-shelf drone to notice and follow a moving target, whether it is a cyclist, a skateboarder or an off-road SUV. But so far, the “follow me” feature has not been built into a production car or truck. Jeep may be about to change that. The carmaker previewed a new drone mating feature that includes dashboard integration that allows you to record video of your adventures on and terrain from a bird’s eye view. Stellanti’s presentation depicts a young couple being persecuted terrain in their Wrangler of a drone at night, and they seem to be able to keep track of their surveillance friend using the SUV’s Uconnect infotainment display. A timeline overlaid on the video indicates that this technology may emerge in 2025.

No keys, no problems.


Biometric recognition

The days of the traditional car key seem to be numbered. We already have phone-as-key technology from a number of car manufacturers, as well new RFID-enabled all-weather bracelets, hotel-key-ike-cards and other untraditional ways to get in and start your vehicle. Now Jeep claims that another technology may be on the way in future jeeps: biometric recognition. By scanning outside the vehicle, future jeeps may be able to identify authorized users to enable access to and operation of the vehicle without fumbling around for a key or telephone, or even remembering a simple safety combination. Most of today’s new vehicles are already equipped with high-resolution cameras for active safety functions, so it is not difficult to imagine a future where these cameras and other sensors are used to identify and approve drivers and passengers as they approach a vehicle. The timeline of the presentation indicates that this technology may become a reality in 2025.

Imagine camping and sending your jeep away on your own to get more supplies. More beer or pizza, maybe.


Autonomous terrain ability

Frankly, the idea of ​​full self-driving on city streets and highways feels like an increasingly unattainable goal, so the idea of ​​enabling completely autonomous driving terrain may seem even more far-fetched. That said, it may not be, because you are much less likely to encounter challenging and dynamic situations such as traffic across cities, cyclists and pedestrians. In any case, Jeep seems optimistic about the idea of ​​launching driverless vehicle terrain, teasing the technology during Stellantis EV Day 2021. Such technology can be useful for sending a vehicle alone for additional necessities, or perhaps to bring an incapacitated adventurer to safety. It’s worth noting that Jeep makes a point of saying “autonomous-capable” in the video – the company seems to understand that owners will still want the experience of sitting behind the wheel for themselves sometimes. The timeline of the presentation indicates that this technology may become a reality around 2030.

Jeep remote tracking of vehicles

Do you remember smart glasses? They can finally be good for something if Jeep has its will.


Remote tracking of vehicles

The thought of sending your vehicle off autonomously may sound a little annoying, and this is where the next innovation comes in. Remote tracking of vehicles – being able to see and keep track of where your vehicle is when it is running around in self-driving mode – – could offer welcome safety. The video briefly shows a woman wearing a pair of smart glasses to keep track of her vehicle that is in motion. The video’s timeline superimposed on the presentation provides a time frame to 2030 for this technology.

Flat seats in a vehicle that is known to be a motorhome favorite seems to be a home-driven idea.


Flat-seat stargazing

Jeep also showed a Wrangler with reclining “star-gazing” seats that essentially turns the 4×4 cab into a bed (not unlike 2021 Ford F-150 ‘is new Max Recline front seats). In a dramatic twist based on the company’s autonomous off-road capability mentioned above, an imaginative video shows a couple lying back and looking out through a Wrangler’s open roof and staying warm under a blanket as the vehicle drives itself in search of astral views. Although the self-driving bit may be a little further down the technology road, reclining seats in a Wrangler – an outdoor vehicle that has been a camping favorite for decades – seems like a very useful and extraordinarily feasible future feature.

Other news about Stellantis EV Day 2021

Stellanti’s multifaceted online presentation shared many additional news for the Jeep brand, including showing the first images of a new Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid modelas well as confirming all-electric future versions of the upcoming Carriage and Grand Wagoneer full-size SUVs. Stellantis too teased a mysterious new all-electric Jeep off-road vehicle amidst exciting product announcements for its other brands that include one Dodge electric muscle car and a futuristic looking electric pickup for Ramboth expire in 2024.

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