They say that cars now possess more computing power than the first space shuttles that made it through our atmosphere, meanwhile our smartphones have assimilated more functions than practically any other electronic device we’ve ever owned, so naturally a fusion of the two makes perfect sense and that’s what Aha Radio hopes to achieve.
There is growing number of sophisticated connected car development platforms emerging in the auto industry, but so far automakers have been a reluctant to actually let developers at them. The reason is the overriding concern of safety. Unlike on a smartphone, an overly complicated or flashy app on the dashboard isn’t just merely a distraction; it could be the cause of a fatal accident.
Automakers are taking a risk, though, the panelists admitted. If they keep too tight a grip on the their infotainment systems, developers and consumers will just start looking elsewhere for connected car apps. “If that safe experience is so de-featured, [drivers] are just going to default to the smartphone,” Acker said.
The average American spends more than two hours a day in the car. If you’re like me, you probably spend a good chunk of the remaining 22 hours each day interacting with computers, smartphones and tablets. Human nature being what it is, we don’t want to cut ourselves off from these useful — some might say addictive — communication, information and entertainment devices for the 15 or so hours we spend inside a car each week.
From working at XM Satellite Radio to leading Rhapsody’s music service and later launching the Internet-connected GPS device Dash, I have spent most of my career in pursuit of one goal: to deliver the connected information and entertainment content people want to their driver’s seat. In my my current role leading Aha by Harman, I believe the “connected car” industry’s biggest challenge is to provide the mobile apps and services that consumers want in a way that makes safety the top priority. To do that, we have to look beyond interface design and consider human behavior.
Honda is jumping into the in-dash app race with the introduction of an updated HondaLink system for 2013 Accord by partnering with Harman's Aha Radio. And Honda hopes to leapfrog competitors like Toyota Entune and Ford Sync’s AppLink by not only outsourcing app integration but by also bringing in more content and making updates much easier and more frequent.
With HondaLink, NPR programming is on demand and drivers can skip backward to past programs on the fly. In this way, HondaLink is perfect for podcast junkies, since they don’t have to update their device to get fresh programs. According to Charles Koch, Honda’s manager of new business development, Aha can offer "thousands of podcasts because they’re cloud-based on the Aha server…
HondaLink is a cloud-based telematics system that uses a smartphone’s data connection to access streaming radio, podcasts, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp!, and other apps through a partnership with Aha Radio.The interface is completely customizable through a user’s smartphone, PC, or tablet, and it supports multiple users. Although this sort of integration isn’t necessarily new, it provides information in a new way.
We've known about Honda's plans to bring Aha Radio along for the ride and the tech has already gotten cozy in Subaru and Acura autos. The company has officially outted its plan to partner with Harman to bring web radio, podcasts and both Facebook and Twitter audio news feeds to the in-dash systems of 2013 vehicles. Unlike what we saw in the BRZ, though, HondaLink will arrive with its own smartphone app in tow for pre-selecting content before hopping in the driver's seat.
Aha will be included in Honda’s answer to the Ford Sync, in a “Connected” system that links to an iPhone or Android phone.
Users will receive Pandora, and have their text messages “read” aloud (and they may answer with select “canned” responses). With Aha, users may have their Facebook and Twitter feeds read back to them and get Internet Radio in a way that is as easy to use as an AM/FM radio, claims Aha.
Honda announced today a new connected service called HondaLink, which brings connected services such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and Slacker into the car.
At this year's CES, Harman International's Aha announced a partnership with Honda. Today Honda hosted a conference showing how that partnership would play out with a new service called HondaLink. This new connected service will let drivers listen to a variety of Internet-based stations, featuring everything from Slacker radio to Yelp listings of nearby restaurants.
Honda let the cat officially out of the bag today, revealing details about its new HondaLink infotainment system that will be featured in the new 2013 Accord. The new midsize sedan doesn't launch until the fall, but the Japanese automaker is clearly eager to start building momentum for its long-awaited new model by addressing one of the company's long-running deficiencies: connectivity.
Honda today unveiled HondaLink, the car manufacturer's newest in-vehicle connectivity system that brings personalized, cloud-based news, information, and entertainment feeds into the 2013 Accord's interface.
While the invention might seem like a surefire way to further distract drivers, American Honda's assistant vice president of product planning, Vicki Poponi, said it is actually meant to encourage motorists to put down the phone, while staying connected "to the people, music and media they love."