When the only U.S. leg of the 2017 FIA Formula E Championship took place in Brooklyn, New York, HARMAN took the opportunity to further showcase its innovative connected car technology and audio prowess. Along with BMW i, the Harman Kardon brand are sponsors of the MS Amlin Andretti Race Team. Building upon this sponsorship and given the sheer innovation behind the world’s first fully electric single-seater racing series, HARMAN held an exclusive media event to showcase its many in-vehicle technologies (IVT), including Harman Kardon audio. What better place to demonstrate the car of the future than the racing series of tomorrow?

Formula E ride-and-drive with BMW iPerformance


To celebrate both connected cars and Formula E, HARMAN worked with BMW to showcase IVT in three iPerformance models - the X5 xDrive40e, 740e xDrive, and i3 – with a media ride-and-drive event. Journalists were invited to experience the HARMAN-equipped cars in the city streets of New York City to showcase how IVT can assist drivers even in the toughest situations. From multiple one-ways to constant rerouting, HARMAN’s powerful navigation with real-time traffic updates is fast enough to react to keep drivers on course – even in NYC.

As media navigated their way around the Big Apple, they made their way to the prestigious Classic Car Club of Manhattan where they were greeted by generations of BMW performance vehicles, and HARMAN IVT demonstrations ranging from digital cockpits to cybersecurity to individual sound zone technologies.   

HARMAN – the ultimate pit crew for the connected car


Like the support needed to run a successful race team, a modern vehicle can’t function without robust technology that works tireless in the background so you can focus on the drive ahead. This in-vehicle technology – such as real-time navigation with 3D mapping and over-the-air updates, or cybersecurity solutions to safeguard against hackers – is extremely important to consumers. According to HARMAN’s own research, 80 percent of U.S. consumers say they specifically researched IVT as part of their vehicle purchase making decision. Of the consumers who already experience IVT on a daily basis, 46 percent say they would never buy a car without IVT.

Despite this enthusiasm, IVT still requires innovation as it shouldn’t be intrusive but instead deliver drivers the information they need in a way that doesn’t distract or degrade safety. In a way, one can view HARMAN’s IVT as a modern driver’s pit crew, monitoring the car’s performance in real-time and delivering a safe, life-enhancing vehicle that provides connectivity, autonomous mobility and a personalized experience.

The future of mobility doesn’t have to be boring – evidence by the thrilling performance of BMW models and now, the competitive edge of Formula E. At HARMAN, we’re dedicated to creating technology that helps drivers of tomorrow get to their destinations smarter and more entertained all while never needing to take their eyes off the road. Even if that destination is a checkered flag.