By on September 23, 2020

Image: Ram

So you just bought your 2021 Ram 1500 TRX. You’ve got a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 from the Hellcat underhood, making 702 horsepower. You’re ready to take on the desert, if not the world.

Yet, you have no frickin’ clue what a certain infotainment-system setting does. You’re stumped. You’ve dove into the owner’s manual and the dry prose has you flummoxed and the index is no help. What’s a truck owner to do?

Pickup your phone, fire up your app store – whichever ecosystem you’re in – and download an augmented reality app that will use your camera to explain to you what you need to know.

Just use the app to point your phone camera at the part of the vehicle that you want to learn about, and the app will use augmented reality to identify the part and explain to you what it does/how it works/how to use it.

Oh, and it’s called Know & Go. Just like Stow & Go.

“We created the Know & Go app as a way for customers to interact with and learn about their vehicles throughout their ownership lifecycle and personal experiences,” said Carolina Harris, Feature Innovation Manager – FCA, and co-creator of Know & Go, in a statement.

Image: Ram

“With all of the content on the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX, the Know & Go mobile app highlights the many new features and capabilities our customers will enjoy in a creative, exciting and engaging way,” said Mimi Nguyen, Propulsion Systems Program Manager, Product Development – FCA and co-creator of Know & Go, in a statement.

The app came to life as part of an FCA internal process in which FCA employees submitted 500 ideas. Those were whittled down to 50, then 14. Those 14 were then pitched to a panel of judges involving company executives, including FCA CEO Mike Manley.

[Images: Ram]

 

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14 Comments on “Augmented Reality Ram? There’s an App for That...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    If you can’t figure out how to work your $80K truck by reading the owner’s manual, maybe your in over your head

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      I can tell you the owners manual for my C7 is terrible when it comes to the infotainment system. Its hard to describe on paper interactive systems without pages of colorful screenshots since many of the features update dynamically in various modes. Welcome to a brave new world where YouTube is the perfered learning mechanism. Half of my job is training and people just don’t READ documentation anymore. Thus we are pivoting to video based training since everyone loves to watch videos.

      A VR app like this is a great application of the technology. You can just point the phone at a part or button to quickly understand what it does. Heck you could do the engine bay and explain where all the fluids go. If done correctly it would even account for options so if you don’t have the heated seats for example the app wouldn’t mention that missing button.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Maybe it’s me then, I just haven’t yet run up against any auto tech that I haven’t been able to figure out with a well-written manual and a little time and patience

        Now, if I could only figure out how to change the clock. Perhaps there’s an app ;-)

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        @JMII

        “Its hard to describe on paper interactive systems without pages of colorful screenshots since many of the features update dynamically”

        –Reminds me of my many futile attempts to teach my father (born in 1930) how to use a computer. His constant refrain was “Why don’t “they” provide a manual?”

        This, or course, is simply pointless given the many ways computers can be configured. I tried many times to defend the “no manual” issue, but eventually found a response that made sense to him.

        Dad is a musician. So I asked him: “Dad, do pianos come with a manual which describes how to play them?” BINGO!

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      People have different learning styles. Some do not process written instructions well.
      I do find that younger people are unaccustomed to reading books or anything lengthy. Our brains have been reprogrammed to sound bytes or Twitter length bytes. I personally find it harder and harder to focus on reading a lengthy document and picking out what’s relevant due to technological changes.

      I’d be disinclined to buy something like the TRX if all of the gizmo’s and/or nannies are complex. I’m considering buying a new motorcycle and my two choices are the KTM 790 ADV R or Yamaha Tenere 700. The Tenere is simple. ABS on or off. The KTM has multiple modes for everything.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    The only time I had to open the manual for the minivan’s Uconnect was for the keysense feature.

    That said, if you can’t figure out the features in the truck I don’t know that you would know how to use an A/R app either.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      I assume once you launch the app it walks you thru the process. IE: the screenshot provided says point your phone at the vehicle. From there the AR fanciness takes over. I bought one of those Ring doorbell cameras and the owners manual tells you to scan a QR code, from that the app knows everything it needs then walks you thru the configuration steps. Piece of cake and all I had to do is click. I think that is main advantage of these apps – its makes things fun vs reading a dry, boring manual.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    I usually read the PDF of the O/M of a future car purchase cover-to-cover, so this would be lost on me, although it’d be handy for quick reference. Heck, I missed the six-month window to grab a free O/M on my Accord, so the only written manual in the glovebox is a quick-reference guide, along with the warranty booklet and the SiriusXM information from last year.

  • avatar

    I consult my car before making decision to invest in stock market. It always comes short on Tesla (mine is Ford).

  • avatar
    Jeff Semenak

    I bought a 2001 Olds Bravada used, in 2004. The most left Button under the Stereo was unmarked and, the Owners Manual had no description of it’s possible function. Ejection Seat? Or, just a button to push, out of ennui…

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