The all-new 2015 Jaguar XE will debut a new infotainment system known as InControl, which the brand claims connects the car, driver and the outside world.
The InControl system is centred around an 8.0-inch touchscreen in the guts of the Jaguar XE's centre console, and can be accessed using a plain speech voice control system at any level, according to Jaguar, “without navigating through menus, so drivers can keep their eyes on the road”. The company claims the system does away with the typical prompt and reply style voice control systems which often end up frustrating drivers.
InControl includes a new SD card-based navigation system, and can also act as a Wi-Fi hotspot for passengers, using the vehicle’s antenna and a supported SIM card (there's a slot for it alongside the SD input).
Owners can also connect to the car via a smartphone app for iOS and Android, which runs when the phone is connected via USB. The in-car screen will mirror what you'd usually see on your phone, which Jaguar says makes the screen easier to use - but it retains a number of hard buttons either side of the display.
A second application, InControl Remote, can be used to set the car’s climate control system on a seven-day cycle, lock and unlock the car remotely, and in some markets will also be able to start the car's engine. The car will still need to detect a key to move, though.
The media screen in the car can also present a range of apps that are housed on the users phone, allowing them access to connect to apps on users smartphones, and includes Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, as well as USB connectivity.
Meridian audio systems will be available in the XE, with new sound systems developed specifically for the new car. Crucially for audiophiles, however, there is no CD slot.
Jaguar's head of connected technologies and apps, Peter Virk, said the system will offer entertainment, information, convenience and security functionality, and that no existing elements from previous Jaguar models have been carried over to the new system.
Virk suggested the software used in the new media system is a precursor to a version that will be rolled out using Apple's much-lauded CarPlay interface.
"Jaguar Land Rover are partners of CarPlay. We've made that announcement, but that's for our future platforms," Virk said. "However, with InControl apps we have full control ... and one of the key things we want to deliver to our customers was for both iOS and Android smartphones was to give them that same experience from their apps. There's that familiarity from when I use the phone when I'm not in the vehicle to when I get in the vehicle."