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January 14, 2013

BMW, Harmon Partner to Offer Drivers Mobile Office

Harmon has partnered with BMW to offer drivers “a seamless experience” with its content-rich infotainment system.

The high-end in-car audio supplier has designed a system to wirelessly combine connectivity, navigation and new software apps, effectively turning BMW vehicles into a mobile office. The technology forms the core of BMW’s ConnectedDrive system.

“Working in partnership with BMW, Harman has incorporated new infotainment features such as a special “birds-eye” view with realistic 3D city models, advanced guiding and new location-based services such as weather information,” the company said in a press release. “Entering destinations is a ‘one-shot’ action, with the city, street and building number all in one natural sequence.”

The system includes a high-resolution 1280 by 480 display and 1.3GHz processor. The system also supports several voice-activated services, affording drivers the ability to dictate short e-mails, texts or voice memos that can be sent later or instantly via mobile uplink. An embedded BMW iPhone app offers easy access to Facebook, Internet radio and other services. The head unit also includes the option to load third party apps in the future.

The system was on display at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas late last week in a BMW 3 Series sedan. Eventually it is to be offered in most BMW models including the 5 Series and 7-Series lines.

“This system earns its claim to being the most advanced infotainment system on the market,” says Michael Mauser, executive vice president and co-president Infotainment and Lifestyle. “We’re delighted it’s now available to BMW drivers in the USA also. It shows the way forward for in-car infotainment systems – with more intuitive operation, seamless connectivity, safety and convenience.”