Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Jivin’ up the Jeep — then and now

Do Jeeps have a unique power to bring out the inner hacker in their owners? Based on the sheer number of Jeep kits on the market, I'd say yes.

Maybe it has something to do with the rough-and-ready, take-on-all-comers personality of the Jeep brand. Or maybe it has to do with the inherent flexibility of the Jeep design. Or maybe it's simply because the brand attracts self-reliant do-it-yourselfers. Whatever the explanation, the history of Jeep modding is almost as old as the Jeep itself.

Jivin' then...
For instance, here are some examples of "jivin' up the Jeep" from a 1947 issue of Mechanix Illustrated magazine. (I found these on — you have got to check this site out.)

And jivin' now...
With a history like this, is it any wonder the QNX concept team also chose to mod a Jeep, albeit with 21st-century tech? For instance, they added their own digital instrument cluster:

and some apps:

not to mention a virtual mechanic:

And is it any wonder they had so much fun doing this?

Hey, do you plan on attending SAE Convergence in October? If so, come by the QNX booth (815) for an even closer look at how the QNX concept team jived up this Wrangler with the connectivity and personalization features of the QNX CAR application platform.

Highlights (er, mods) of the Wrangler include:
  • Customizable HMI for reskinning and personalization
  • Ability to download apps
  • Multimedia: streaming radio, mobile connectivity, album art, etc
  • One-touch Bluetooth pairing with NFC
  • HD hands-free communication with conversational voice recognition
  • Reconfigurable digital instrument cluster
  • Tablet-based rear-seat entertainment
  • HTML5 framework for leveraging mobile ecosystem


  1. Amazing!!! this should be in every vehicle. Would love this in my 2012 Civic Si coupe. Any chance i could have two PlayBook installed in my head rests, connected to my Bold 9900?

  2. Hi Anonymous. The 9900 does provide remote control over your PlayBook. Just don't use this (admittedly cool) feature while driving! :-) - Paul

  3. Hi Paul

    Thanks for your reply, I always use the Blackberry Bridge function with my PlayBook, just trying to find a nice way to intergrate it into my vehicle. Only thing I can think of is using Bluetooth and connecting it to my Civic's speakers.

    I guess I got a new winter project for my car, I will take pics of my set up and send it to you guys

    Maybe I'm just wishing the QNX Car 2 platform was already out. This looks amazing!! Keep up the hard work, I've been following your company for a while now :). QNX FTW!!!!

  4. Thanks for the supportive words, Anonymous. Looking forward to seeing your pix! - Paul

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  6. Wow, I never knew jeep had such a historic past. Those must have been so popular back in the day. I have been on the hunt for a new fishing vehicle and I think Jeeps are the best bet right now. I have been in touch with a Jeep Dealer in McAllen TX and hope that he can give me a good price sooner than later. Awesome post, very interesting stuff.

  7. Amazing historical background you have collected. This is good information for Jeep lovers like me to take a look back at where all this innovations began. I guess you can do anything to a Jeep if it can take on such a modern digital machine. The video with the Jeep looks great without the Jeep Doors. My question is can you still install new Jeep Doors different for the once the Jeep came with?