Offering a look at the automaker's latest developments in in-car connected tech, the 2014 Honda Civic debuts two key elements that also will be making their way into other future products starting with the all-new 2015 Honda Fit that goes on sale in the spring. Charles Koch, manager of new business development for American Honda calls this dynamic duo -- Honda Display Audio and HondaLink -- "pioneering technologies that seamlessly and intuitively integrate the power and functionality of a customers' smartphone directly into their vehicle." Koch sees that as a must-have capability to effectively entice an upcoming generation of new-car buyers into the Honda fold.
Available on Civic EX and above trim levels, Honda's Display Audio features a 7.0-inch capacitive touchscreen that uses familiar pinch, swipe and tap gestures to control interactions with its various smartphone-like app icons. These include the navigation system, messaging via Apple's Siri Eyes Free and real-time weather data to name but a few. The Display Audio system also can be operated using buttons on the car's multifunction steering wheel.
The affiliated next-gen HondaLink system leverages the power of the Display Audio setup by fully integrating the owner's "digital lifestyle" into the mix. Cloud based and initially available for use with iPhone 5/5S/5C models - although Honda promises Android compatibility is coming in 2014 - HondaLink features four dedicated apps to help serve as the car's gateway to the world. The descriptively named Connect App and Navigation App allow for a variety of information/location searches and updates including turn-by-turn routing with the latter app, a $59.99 upgrade available through the iTunes store. The Aha app provides access to a wide range of audio content including Internet radio, podcasts and audio books as well as Facebook and Twitter updates while the Launcher App finds and organizes various Honda-approved 3rd party apps that can be integrated into the Display Audio system. It also includes a new HondaLink Assist feature that automatically attempts to notify an operator and report the vehicle's location whenever it senses that an airbag deployment has taken place.
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