Honda today introduced the next generation of connected-car technology: Honda Display Audio and HondaLink. Together these technologies represent the most advanced information and media connectivity package ever offered by Honda. Both new systems will debut on the 2014 Civic, which goes on-sale tomorrow.
Additionally, the 2014 Civic equipped with Display Audio marks Honda’s first factory installed integration of Apple’s Siri Eyes Free mode with Siri operation available directly through the steering wheel-mounted controls when a compatible iPhone is paired via Bluetooth.
The Display Audio interface debuts on the 2014 Civic (EX models and above) and will be featured on the all-new 2015 Fit, arriving next spring. Offering one of the largest touchscreens in its class, Display Audio uses the familiar pinch, swipe and tap functionality of a smartphone to access audio, phonebook, media, vehicle information and available navigation features.
Icons resembling smartphone apps are displayed on the 7″h, high-def, capacitive touchscreen, making the interface intuitive and easy to use. Standard internet-sourced music and media options, such as Pandora are built into the Display Audio interface, with the ability to create personalized stations, tap to “like” songs, and view album artwork directly from the touchscreen.
Display Audio also integrates touch operation of the volume (with a quick-swipe adjustment), menu, and return functions. Standard steering wheel controls compliment the touchscreen features as well.
At launch timing, iPhone 5, 5S and 5C will benefit from all the features HondaLink offers. Compatible Android smartphone’s are anticipated to become available next year.
Four specialty HondaLink apps provide organization and are a gateway to additional online content:
- Connect App – Provides convenient access for many services including location searches, local weather, messaging, Maintenance Minder alerts, service scheduling by phone, and access to the Owners Guide. Users can tap for weather updates and store favorite destinations for quick routing with the Navigation app.
- Navigation App – For the first time Honda is offering a comprehensive cloud-based navigation app for purchase2 that includes 3D mapping and continuously updated traffic information. As the first navigation app developed by an automaker with mapping data provided by HERE, a Nokia business, this app offers a variety of location search options including search by point of interest, text search, or previous locations. Routes can be pre-planned on a smartphone and will display on the vehicle’s touchscreen. Turn-by-turn routing guidance is available through the vehicle’s audio system as well.
- Aha App – provides access to an extensive and diverse selection of audio content across multiple genres and demographics, plus featured new stations, Internet radio, podcasts, audiobooks, news, Twitter and Facebook updates and nearby location listings for restaurants, coffee houses, hotels, weather, parks, and gas stations. Users can tap to personalize stations or add favorites via smartphone or directly through the Display Audio interface.
- Launcher App –Finds and organizes Honda-approved 3rd party apps so they can be quickly integrated into the Display Audio system. Approved apps can be found through the Launcher and shown on the Display Audio screen for easy access.
Additionally, HondaLink Assist can help provide emergency assistance to drivers. If there is a cellular connection and an airbag deployment sensor is triggered by a collision, the system is designed to automatically attempt to notify an operator, report the car’s current location, and allow you to talk directly to the operator. The operator can then contact emergency services if needed.
Siri Eyes Free Integration
Display Audio integrates Apple’s Siri Eyes Free mode into Honda vehicles. Compatible iPhone users will be able to operate Siri through familiar voice commands by pressing and holding the TALK button on the steering wheel when their iPhone is paired via Bluetooth . Using Eyes Free mode, Siri takes hands-free functionality even further and helps minimize distractions by keeping an iOS device’s screen from lighting up.
Owners can direct Siri to perform a number of specific tasks while they keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.
- Sending text messages and e-mails
- Reading incoming text messages and emails
- Setting up calendar entries, reminders, and alarms
- Checking the weather
- Turn-by-turn voice navigation (when the audio system is set to Bluetooth® Audio or iPod mode)
- Sports scores and stock quotes