With the announcement of Honda Connect, a new infotainment system, Honda has become the first Asia based partner of NVIDIA to use Tegra processors for their car’s information and audio systems. The system will run Android, albeit an older version (4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich). Surprisingly, this is the first instance of an embedded in-car system using Android.
For curious observers, no, Honda Connect has nothing to do with the recently announced Android Auto. We can only assume that the timeline of release for Android Auto did not match Honda’s expectations. Compatibility could also be a reason for why the company decided to build its own system.
The new system will rely on a 7 inch capacitive screen in the car dashboard to interact with the user. It will have all the standard features you’d expect from an infotainment system: satellite navigation, rear view camera display, car status, mapping technology, radio and entertainment and traffic applications.
In addition to room for customization, it will be able to download Android apps from Honda’s own App Store. Other features include FM Radio, CD playback, USB and HDMI connectivity. From the feature set and quick response times, it is apparent Honda Connect is one of the most advance in-car systems in the market.
Speaking about the new system, Rob Csongor, NVDIA’s VP said, “Honda is bringing NVIDIA’s advanced mobile technology to an important new segment of vehicles. Inside these Honda models, the NVIDIA Tegra solution leverages Android to deliver an open, flexible infotainment platform. One that bridges the world of smartphone apps and the requirements of the automotive industry but, most importantly, does so in a way that makes driving safe.”
Honda Connect also marks an important victory for NVIDIA who now provide their automotive grade processors to 19different car manufacturers. However, this represents the first real test for the company in Asia. Currently, 6 million cars are equipped with NVIDIA processors, with the number expected to rise by 25 million in the next five years.
The system will be present on 2015 editions of Civic, Civic Tourer and CR-V as an option. It will also ship as a standard feature for European markets starting from next year.