Looking to fully leverage the power of the cloud "to bring a wealth of new information and services" to owners of its vehicles, Honda has unveiled its new HondaLink in-car connectivity system that will debut this fall in the 2013 Honda Accord and Crosstour models. Featuring the first automotive OEM application of Aha by Harman, HondaLink is designed to provide an extensively customizable user experience that permits quick and easy access to thousands of different cloud-based information and entertainment sources via a tethered smartphone.
A no-fee service accessible via the downloadable HondaLink app, this intuitive content manager allows the smartphone owner to access a full range of favorites that have been present on the smartphone by using either voice commands or controls on the steering wheel or the car's audio system. In addition to Pandora internet radio and voice-to-text SMS text services that Honda introduced on the 2012 CR-V, the Aha service will allow HondaLink users to listen to Facebook and Twitter audio newsfeeds, hear podcasts from NPR, call up location-based personalized restaurant listings from Yelp, and access other internet music services, including Slacker.
As one would expect, the capabilities and content menu of the HondaLink app will continue to be expanded over time. When that does occur, the Aha service will ensure the updating process remains simple and seamless throughout the life of the vehicle. Charles Koch, American Honda manager of new business development, describes HondaLink as "the next evolution of the connected car and the connected customer." Koch also stressed that the system also was designed to minimize the potential for creating any kind of driver distraction.
Those with greener leanings also will be able to experience a version of Honda's newest technology in the form of HondaLink EV. Specifically designed for use in the 2013 Honda Fit EV and the upcoming Accord Hybrid, it offers a unique feature set specifically tailored to the requirements of these vehicles including allowing owners to remotely view the state of battery charge, initiate the recharging process and activate the climate control system to pre-condition the car while its connected to the grid in order to maximize battery range on start-up.
To see the HondaLink system in action click here.