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2017 500e
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Discussion Starter #1
I'd like to see one of these in action, and really I would like to be able to sniff the packets on the canbus for this so that I can make my own.
I really am glad someone made it but 375 is too steep for me when I'll have to pay an additional 105/year to keep it working. I am always skeptical when things like this require a server portion like that.
If my500e's servers go down you're screwed too.

Anyway, anyone in the Portland area who has one of these that would be willing to let me look at it, (maybe after this virus situation calms down) I would appreciate it.

If I can get one to borrow I'm going to do a write-up on using a microcontroller to make your own. My current plan is to use A teensy 3.6 board and a LORA long range module for communications.
 

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2017 Fiat 500e (Billet Argento), 2015 VW Golf Sportwagen TSI 5MT (Tungsten Silver), 2002 Honda VFR
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It would be sick if you make one connect to a spare burner phone wired in car for phone to phone comms that requires no server. You can have cheap phone service like redpocket or in my case I have a free spare phone line that was a freebie with T-Mobile (5th line free promo)

My uconnect is expired and I've searched high and low if there is ability to extend that by paying subscription and I've no found resources that say I can, if it's reasonable I'd pay to have it. I know earlier model 500e are screwed as they work on 2g att network and was subsequently shut off but I read these 2016 up models have newer modems that can still connect to current network.
 

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2017 500e
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Discussion Starter #4
I contacted several different dealerships and they either had no idea what I was talking about and claimed that the 500e had no such features, or confirmed that you can't renew it.
In any case, I'm not planning to set it up to be used with a phone like that. Android is not a very stable platform for things where you are going to not touch it or when it needs to work without you touching it.
I'm going to set it up with ab obd device similar to the my500e, only with an open design.
 

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The my500e guys have posted that they plan to release a WiFi version soon. That would delete the thether of the annual cellular contract. It's been 3 months since that announcement with no followup with beta units.

There really doesn't need to be a open hardware design. Everyone knows that all these features are activated or gathered via CanBus on the OBD connector. What's missing is what codes activate what features. Over the years I've seen two or three halting attempts to gather and publish that information. It would be awesome if some group could figure it out and publish it.

I saw a page a while ago that discussed hacking canbus. The basic idea was to get a baseline of messages and filter them out, then do an activity and only record the new messages generated. Finally try playing back those messages and see which ones activate the requested activity. This seemed to work for buttons and media messages. I guess the same could be used for preconditioning and charging functions.

But the bottom line is no one with a commercial interest seems to be willing to share how it works so that the tinkerers can run with it.

ga2500ev
 

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2017 Fiat 500e (Billet Argento), 2015 VW Golf Sportwagen TSI 5MT (Tungsten Silver), 2002 Honda VFR
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522 Posts
I contacted several different dealerships and they either had no idea what I was talking about and claimed that the 500e had no such features, or confirmed that you can't renew it.
In any case, I'm not planning to set it up to be used with a phone like that. Android is not a very stable platform for things where you are going to not touch it or when it needs to work without you touching it.
I'm going to set it up with ab obd device similar to the my500e, only with an open design.
I finally got a reply here is what they say which looks promising...
108571
 

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Good luck and let us know how it goes. As far as I know no one has been able to renew the Uconnect subscription beyond the initial 3 years.
 

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I called Uconnect the day I got my 2016 500e and they told me there was no way to renew the service. Servers can be very expensive to keep running for this connectivity. Ending the service after three years ensure they never have more than X amount of devices (cars) connected their their cloud server. If they allowed the service to continue after three years then they would need to expand their cloud infrastructure every year that new cars come out. They don't want to spend any more money than they have to. It totally sucks and I wish we could have this service continue.
 

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2017 Fiat 500e (Billet Argento), 2015 VW Golf Sportwagen TSI 5MT (Tungsten Silver), 2002 Honda VFR
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Why even offer the services at all and waste money adding modems, capability and apps and such to the car if that’s all that it’s going to be. Maybe lease customers were a study subject getting metrics from the cars usage for future models who knows
 

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2017 Fiat 500e (Billet Argento), 2015 VW Golf Sportwagen TSI 5MT (Tungsten Silver), 2002 Honda VFR
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I personally don’t think it’s server costs because virtually every FCA car being sold after 2016 has it and it’s all amortized in the costs no way the 500e is a burden at all. Especially if customers are actually paying for the service after the trial period.
 

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Why even offer the services at all and waste money adding modems, capability and apps and such to the car if that’s all that it’s going to be. Maybe lease customers were a study subject getting metrics from the cars usage for future models who knows
Just some total guesses here.

They are trying to compete with other EV's like Tesla where connectivity is standard.
Other FCA vehicles that have it generate profit while FCA loses money on the 500e. They want to minimize as much loss as possible and dropping Uconnect support is a good way to do that.
 

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Just some total guesses here.

They are trying to compete with other EV's like Tesla where connectivity is standard.
Other FCA vehicles that have it generate profit while FCA loses money on the 500e. They want to minimize as much loss as possible and dropping Uconnect support is a good way to do that.
Isn’t that the whole reason why we pay for the service after the trial is over? Am I missing something, I mean that’s how other oems do. My VW a 2015 Golf still have connected app, FCA shows they don’t care if about existing customers. Even owners of first gen eGolf has connected apps 😑

The way I see it is you’re essentially taking away a “feature “ the car comes with by not allow you option to keep it. It’s like them saying alright your car comes with AC but after 3 years it stops working and no we can’t fix it.
 

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The 500e was introduced in 2013 with Fiat Access, a precursor to UConnect. FCA had no other telematics system at the time. Fiat Access was free, FCA had no subscription system for it, and it simply expired after 3 years.

The UConnect system that FCA created later for Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep was much more elaborate, similar to GM's OnStar or BMW's ConnectedDrive, and it is subscription based.

I have a leased 2017 with active connection. The UConnect app works with it, but also the old Fiat Access app still works. I have reason to believe that they kept the Fiat Access server running, and they simply added backwards compatibility to the UConnect app. Fiat rebranded the name to UConnect, but I believe that the 500e continued to connect to the old Fiat Access server. Fiat Access was not integrated with a subscription system and they would have to do a fair amount of work on the server to add subscription capability.

In summary, I believe that the 500e is running Fiat Access which was a prototype and experiment, and FCA had no intention to keep supporting it. FCA's other cars use the "real" UConnect system.
 

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2017 Fiat 500e (Billet Argento), 2015 VW Golf Sportwagen TSI 5MT (Tungsten Silver), 2002 Honda VFR
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Okay fair enough and they offered the 500e till 2019 which effectively means they have to support the what like possible 600 units sold in 2019 and run servers till 2022? Why not let 2016-2017 guys pay for the service till they axe it in 2022 it would amortized the running cost.
 

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Why not let 2016-2017 guys pay for the service till they axe it in 2022
What they have going is very simple — activate the service when the new car is sold/leased, and let it expire after 3 years (the normal length of a lease). They are probably not set up to handle the service as a separately billable item that controls the service based on payment. Completely doable but they would have to build the infrastructure behind it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The my500e guys have posted that they plan to release a WiFi version soon. That would delete the thether of the annual cellular contract. It's been 3 months since that announcement with no followup with beta units.

There really doesn't need to be a open hardware design. Everyone knows that all these features are activated or gathered via CanBus on the OBD connector. What's missing is what codes activate what features. Over the years I've seen two or three halting attempts to gather and publish that information. It would be awesome if some group could figure it out and publish it.

I saw a page a while ago that discussed hacking canbus. The basic idea was to get a baseline of messages and filter them out, then do an activity and only record the new messages generated. Finally try playing back those messages and see which ones activate the requested activity. This seemed to work for buttons and media messages. I guess the same could be used for preconditioning and charging functions.

But the bottom line is no one with a commercial interest seems to be willing to share how it works so that the tinkerers can run with it.

ga2500ev
I'm not sure what you mean.
You say there does not need to be an open hardware design but then you say that you want the canbus commands.

I suppose I didn't specify that my design would include the software element, but that is the intent.
I want to build something akin to the my500e but just make it completely open.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Additionally, that wifi version does not eliminate the server fees, just the cellular fees. It still has to go through their server.
 

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Additionally, that wifi version does not eliminate the server fees, just the cellular fees. It still has to go through their server.
I missed this. I've kept their Q/A page up for quite a while and never saw any discussion of server fees. But I see now that the plan is to charge $70 a year for server fees. Most subscription models drive me nuts.

ga2500ev
 

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I'm not sure what you mean.
You say there does not need to be an open hardware design but then you say that you want the canbus commands.
Someone can use a raspberry pi, or an arduino with the proper shields. The hardware isn't terribly critical as long as it has canbus and some type of communications interface to a phone, tablet, or network. For example it would be easy to use an ELM-327 for communication as it has both canbus and bluetooth/wifi interfaces.

I suppose I didn't specify that my design would include the software element, but that is the intent.
I want to build something akin to the my500e but just make it completely open.
The software element is the critical missing information. Once the CanBus codes are published, then any of the above hardware systems could be used to gather information and send commands. A 5 second look for example pulled up a ELM-327 OBD library that could serve as a scaffold for such a system. It's the data that is hidden, not the hardware.

ga2500ev
 
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