I don’t think Chrysler (or any manufacturer) is going to do anything nefarious with my information, nor will the following auto journalists to test this car, but…
1 – Your contacts database is one of your most precious files, and ideally, you have a copy on an external drive, that’s been backed up in the last couple weeks (if you say you store all your contacts in Facebook, please leave my blog.) So why be careless about where that file ends up?
2 – I don’t know what information the car copies, then saves, from my phone. Nor do I know that the data is fully deleted when I un-pair the phone. Not-knowing means not-happening.
3 – I’m still undecided if I trust the cloud, and so I don’t use it. And pairing the car means I’ve dipped my toe into the cloud.
4 – pairing usually requires Bluetooth, which I don’t use. I’ve been attacked via Bluetooth before, so I quit using it (that’s why you never see me anymore, in my beloved hands-free headsets)
So why now?
I’m conducting a test for an upcoming ‘Keri on Driving‘ column…
The test is: automakers say we’re now able to fully control our car, without removing our hands from the wheel. Okay then, let’s see.
I set up for success and chose Chrysler because their ‘UConnect’ infotainment system is one of the best available.
How I paired it
I did not pair my own phone, not a chance.
Instead, I got a pre-paid SIM card from TELUS (talk & text only, no data), and put it in the Android they gave me. I saved the contacts I chat most with, and fired it up.
1 – the car now has saved all my contacts list, and my call history
2 – the car can now access my text messages, and can send as me
So to word it dramatically - the car now knows all your friends, whom you speak with most, and can text them. This is why you always delete your phone from a rental car, and don’t name your phone your name.
Because a possible attack: return the rental car > next guy gets in > your phone is your name > look up home address for that name > guy now knows where you are not
That’s pretty high-level, and the guy would have to be quite skilled, but still, why chance it.
Let the test begin
Figured out voice command navigation this afternoon, and how to send texts but only using the screen (think I’m doing something wrong there), audio is easy, and not sure if climate controls are even a possibility…
How nice did this photo turn out
When it launched, I reviewed this car for the paper, click here.
Short review – the 200 went from barely competing, to the one to compete against.