New STLA Safety Feature Coming to Jeep Vehicles
Thanks to an over-the-air update from Stellantis (parent company of Jeep), more than 4 million drivers are about to experience safer driving conditions. The update comes at no cost this January (2022). Jeep vehicles, as well as Ram, Dodge, Fiat, and Alfa Romeo, will all receive alerts when there’s an emergency vehicle nearby flashing its lights. The new feature called Emergency Vehicle Alert System (EVAS) will initially be available in North America, but Stellantis will likely roll it out across the 14 different brands it sells across the world.
According to the Emergency Responder Safety Institute, a total of 63 U.S. emergency responders were killed in car crashes last year (2021). Stellantis’ Head of Software Business and Product Management, Mamatha Chamarthi, said: “It’s all about saving lives.” The automaker’s latest safety feature was born during a 2020 meeting where Chrysler employees were encouraged to pitch new ideas.
“An employee was driving with her kids. It was noisy in the vehicle. She didn’t hear an approaching emergency vehicle and was nearly involved in an accident. She asked why we couldn’t have an alert system that shows the kind of emergency vehicle, and the direction it’s coming from,” said Chamarthi.
Stellantis wasted no time and moved quickly with this suggestion, relying on existing connectivity hardware and working alongside Safety Cloud creator HAAS alert. HAAS alert currently works with more than 1,000 emergency responders throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Chamarthi personally tested out EVAS in her Jeep Wrangler 4xe last summer.
EVAS is similar to the existing weather advisories that many vehicles already incorporate. A message will simply pop up on the instrument panel or infotainment display, letting the driver know what type of emergency vehicle and which way it’s coming from. Unlike other alerts that notify drivers of vehicles and hazards ahead, EVAS also has the ability to warn drivers about emergency vehicles approaching from the rear. Either way, the driver has the option to move over or slow down significantly to let first responders do their job safely. EVAS is available in 2018 and later models as long as they’ve got either a Uconnect 4 or Uconnect 5 infotainment system and a connection to Stellantis’ safety and convenience data services – starting at $12.99 per month. Existing vehicles will receive the free over-the-air update within the coming weeks.
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