Infotainment systems are some of the fastest updating tech in modern automobiles, and automakers now often introduce improvements even in between refreshes of their models. Garmin wants to get a bigger piece of this lucrative pie, and the company has its latest in-car tech ready to show in a Volvo at CES. One of the unit's highlights is the ability to tweak navigation routes depending on the weather along the way.
Garmin's tech uses a mix of a rotary dial and touchscreen to control the system. In addition, the company incorporates wireless rear seat navigation so that someone in the back can use a smart device to select navigation destinations via Wi-Fi. The innovation is interesting, but if an annoying, mean-spirited person is in the vehicle, there seems to be a high danger for aggravating shenanigans like suddenly rerouting the car to Siberia.
If you don't feel like using your hands, Garmin's tech also supports voice commands through a partnership with Amazon Alexa. The speech recognition tech is entirely within the infotainment system, so a user doesn't have to download an app or use a smartphone to make it work. In addition to navigation, a person can tell the car to play specific media or even control supported home automation equipment.
The predictive weather routing uses data from AccuWeather Go to check the conditions along the way. The company claims that the system can even monitor for minute-by-minute changes to the weather.
Garmin has two versions of its system that uses either Intel Atom quad core x7 or dual core x5 processors, but the company doesn't yet offer details about the precise differences. The firm is aiming this tech at the mid- and high-end levels of the automotive market. The business isn't announcing any buyers yet but showing it in a Volvo might point the way forward.
Garmin® heads to CES with a new scalable infotainment platform
Thursday, January 4, 2018 6:00 am CST
"The new platform provides adaptable hardware and software for infotainment head units that suit specific OEM needs at the mid- and high-end levels of the market."
OLATHE, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), will be introducing its scalable infotainment platform for Automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The platform uses the Intel Atom® quad core x7 or Intel Atom® dual core x5 (Apollo Lake) processor and includes multiple premium industry-firsts for consumers like wireless rear-seat navigation, comprehensive weather forecasts along a route, Foursquare’s Location Intelligence and Places Database, and unique integration of Amazon’s cloud-based Alexa voice service. A brief highlight video showing the infotainment system can be viewed here.
“Garmin’s scalable infotainment platform offers a level of performance and design that consumers expect from consumer electronics but have never seen in OEM infotainment,” said Kip Dondlinger, Garmin automotive OEM manager of product and user experience. “The new platform provides adaptable hardware and software for infotainment head units that suit specific OEM needs at the mid- and high-end levels of the market.”
Driving in bad weather can be a common concern for consumers. To help bring peace of mind, Garmin utilizes predictive routing algorithms that work with AccuWeather Go™ powered by MinuteCast® technology to display the weather conditions that can be expected along any given route. Thanks to this joint effort between Garmin and AccuWeather, the scalable infotainment platform offers the first navigation system to provide comprehensive minute-by-minute weather forecasts with Superior Accuracy™ to pinpoint exact routes.
The Garmin scalable infotainment platform takes Alexa integration in the vehicle to a new level. Alexa works directly with the on-board navigation and media player software established by Garmin – which means no smartphones or apps required. Consumers can easily select their destination with the Alexa hands-free voice service and then have it automatically synced to turn-by-turn navigation from Garmin. What’s more, consumers can ask Alexa questions and receive both audio and on-screen responses; play music through the head unit’s media player; control home automation while traveling on the road; and access hundreds of other Alexa skills from the vehicle’s head unit.
In addition, Garmin also uses the infotainment platform for Wireless Rear Seat Navigation and Entertainment. Tablets or smartphones – Apple or Android – will have access to the head unit’s mapping and full navigation functionality streaming over Wi-Fi® to the rear seat. Rear seat passengers will be able to see the vehicle’s route, search points of interest, and even send destinations to the head unit. Users can also stream media content from the infotainment system to their device via Wi-Fi, making the vehicle an entertainment hub that mimics the experience seen on commercial airliners.
The versatile platform includes on-board and connected Foursquare points of interest (POI) integration, a feature that was recently launched by Garmin as a factory-installed navigation solution. With Foursquare’s Places Database that powers 125,000+ developers including Uber, Twitter, Samsung and Snapchat, Foursquare adds more POIs in the categories of Food and Drink, Lodging, and Entertainment which are the most searched categories in a car.
During CES, the infotainment platform will be installed in a new demonstration vehicle with an all-digital Garmin instrument cluster with full-screen moving maps. In this vehicle, Garmin will showcase the platform in conjunction with “Lenexa” HMI (human machine interface). As shown in the 2017 concept, the Lenexa HMI’s unique knob and display design makes frequently used audio and smartphone features more easily accessible through tactile controls.
For decades, Garmin has pioneered new GPS navigation and wireless devices and applications that are designed for people who live an active lifestyle. Garmin serves five primary business units, including automotive, aviation, fitness, marine, and outdoor recreation. For more information, visit Garmin's virtual pressroom at garmin.com/newsroom, contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200, or follow us at facebook.com/garmin, twitter.com/garmin, or youtube.com/garmin.
About Garmin International Inc.: Garmin International Inc. is a subsidiary of Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN). Garmin Ltd. is incorporated in Switzerland, and its principal subsidiaries are located in the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. Garmin is a registered trademark. Foursquare® and the Foursquare® logo are registered trademarks of Foursquare Labs, Inc. Garmin has no affiliation with or sponsorship from Uber, Twitter, Samsung, or Snapchat. Amazon, Alexa, and all related logos and motion marks are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Apple is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Android™ is a trademark of Google Inc. Wi-Fi® and the Wi-Fi logo are registered trademarks of Wi-Fi Alliance.
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Notice on Forward-Looking Statements:
This release includes forward-looking statements regarding Garmin Ltd. and its business. Such statements are based on management’s current expectations. The forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this release may not occur and actual results could differ materially as a result of known and unknown risk factors and uncertainties affecting Garmin, including, but not limited to, the risk factors listed in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, filed by Garmin with the Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission file number 0-31983). A copy of such Form 10-K is available at http://www.garmin.com/aboutGarmin/invRelations/finReports.html. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and Garmin undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.