With advanced vehicle development cruising along, several dialogues from headlines to family dinner conversations seem to be buzzing with AI lingo and chatter about electrification. Forecasts about robocars in driveways and the huge bets placed on contenders are dominating our news cycle. As developers pull late nights tackling computer vision technology updates and operations teams continue to drive costs out of battery packs, stakeholders are abuzz, waiting for this new technology to hit showrooms.

Aside from the robotics-related challenges that go in developing autonomous vehicles, there are other obstacles that may delay our ability to schmooze while we cruise. Legal guidelines have yet to be established and new technology always faces a barrier of acceptance; but recent studies show that today’s drivers can be hesitant when it comes to riding in a fully autonomous vehicle.  

These problems will be resolved, but until then one thing is clear: driving still matters. Cars have come a long way in making themselves more user friendly with refined materials and customizable driving experiences. Remember hand crank windows? Parallel parking on a hill with a manual transmission? And the black plastics and acrylics that adorned interiors in the ‘90s? Now, virtually every car is easy to drive and pleasant to be in.

Today’s homologous vehicle lineups and design reflect fierce competitiveness among OEMs. HARMAN’s engineering prowess helps its OEM partners gain a competitive edge and distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack. HARMAN understands that people have preferences about driving characteristics that fall under the domain of the manufacturer. At its core, HARMAN is a technology company which means it can take the look, feel, and quality of the car to the next level through digitization. Individualization, connectivity, and new capabilities are unlocked in every HARMAN infotainment system and are conceptualized in the Digital Cockpit.

digital cockpit

The Digital Cockpit is about freedom, and offers the ability to combine HARMAN products and technologies according to user preferences to create a one-of-a-kind driving experience. Displays, buttons, and dials are designed for multifunctional use and are customizable, and HARMAN supported infotainment systems allow rev counters, speedometers and other readouts to be organized to the drivers’ liking. In its premium configuration, the Digital Cockpit weaves together a driver’s entire connected lifestyle across the Internet of Things. Virtual personal assistants and individual driver profiles also help tailor the in-car user experience. Everything comes together in such a way that the driver can understand them in a second—there’s no learning curve.

Premium features like advanced HARMAN audio solutions add excitement and quality to any drive. The ability to start the car using a smart watch or asking Alexa about the weather while behind the wheel simplifies the driver’s routine and enhances the driving experience. HARMAN’s ideas and solutions make vehicles great in every way, from the day-to-day drive to that spontaneous road trip.

Our solutions represent a forward thinking investment for automakers, but don’t require betting on the uncertainty of tomorrow. The Digital Cockpit is made available for every automotive segment, offering future proof features within an open ecosystem. The technology from HARMAN helps OEM partners gain an advantage in today’s market, and will continue to do so in the future – no matter what it may hold and even if it takes longer to get there than expected. We’re rethinking the user experience in the car now to bridge the gap between the present and the future, without reinventing the wheel.

HARMAN encourages those dinner table conversations about the future because we’re already placing the stepping stone technologies — plugging connectivity and digitalization into today’s cars. Cars become significant emotional investments for many drivers – seeing them through many major milestones, both good and bad. For your car to be its best version, it needs HARMAN. Those rough days might be better if you could warm up your car from inside, and those good times will get all the more better when that timeless album is played through a world class sound system.