Dodge is making things safer for police with the new 2016 Dodge Charger Pursuit. It’s taken the bulky laptop you often see sitting on the middle console and thrown it in the trunk.
Instead, Dodge is replacing the five-inch UConnect display and laptop mount in the with an enormous 12.1-inch, portrait-format touchscreen display. It’s called UConnect 12.1 and the new system doesn’t do away with the old fashioned computer outright. In the trunk, it can connect to the display via an Ethernet cable.
The changes are good for a few reasons. For one, they makes things safer since the new system doesn’t obstruct front-driver and passenger air bags or interfere with occupant space. Dodge says initial feedback found that a traditional, center console-mounted laptop or screen often added dangerous impact points or could even interfere with airbag deployment during a crash. In addition, these third-party upfit solutions were considered distractive to the officer’s outward vision and line-of-sight. Ergonomics designed into the vehicle’s controls and even touchscreen displays were also hindered by the installation of these bulky devices.
Now all that goes away. While the Charger Pursuit will continue to offer redundant audio and HVAC controls, the 12.1-inch display can, at the press of a “button”, split to display Fiat Chrysler’s familiar 8.4-inch display. Make one more tap on the screen, and the police-issue laptop can be managed through the full touchscreen. The touchscreen will also display a menu bar at the top of the page, which can easily be edited by officers. All it takes is a simple drag and drop from the application menu to the top of the display. According to Dodge, the touchscreen will even play nice when its operator is wearing gloves.
“As America’s high-performance police vehicle, Dodge Charger Pursuit is going big for 2016, offering a massive, Uconnect touchscreen system that streamlines a law enforcement officer’s computer system with our easy-to-use Uconnect system – on an all-new laptop-sized 12.1-inch touchscreen display,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge and SRT’s president and CEO. “Designed and tested to Charger Pursuit’s stringent test requirements, our all-new Uconnect 12.1 system is the latest piece of tactical hardware that is neatly integrated into the instrument panel for a mobile command center that could only be delivered from Dodge.”
Other bonuses with the new tech system are that there are no pricey installation or upfitting charges, like there are for most laptop carriages. The plug-and-play nature of the new UConnect system won’t require departments to buy new laptops, and finally there’s no need to retrain officers, since the only thing that’s really changing is the input.