As a leading global connected technologies company, every year at HARMAN is filled with unique opportunities, new complexities and incredible achievements. It goes without saying that the challenges faced by everyone this year were unlike any other, but that didn’t stop our teams from developing the premium, innovative automotive technologies and solutions that our OEM customers appreciate and expect. Thanks to the inspiring leadership of our automotive team, HARMAN and our teams were able to achieve extraordinary milestones through a series of accomplishments that underline our spirit for advancing innovation. Before we gear up for 2021, we took a look back at some of the biggest automotive milestones from this year.
Combating Road Noise to Increase Driving Pleasure
Sound plays an essential role in informing the driving experience. Audio clues help keep drivers focused, safe and contribute to the overall pleasure of driving, and no one understands this better than HARMAN. Earlier this year, HARMAN partnered with leading global automaker, Hyundai Motor Company, to launch the world’s first Road-Noise Active Noise Control (RANC) system. By cancelling out unwanted sound from the tires and road surfaces while driving, the RANC system reduces in-cabin noise in real-time by emitting soundwaves that dispel the unwanted, incoming noise to provide a more pleasant ride for drivers and passengers alike.
Powering the Launch of the ARCFOX αT
HARMAN’s Digital Cockpit has consistently provided in-car intelligence, connectivity, and entertainment for some of the world’s largest automakers. This year, we expanded its reach even further with the introduction of the digital cockpit in the first mass-produced electric SUV from the Beijing Electric Vehicle Company (BJEV), the ARCFOX αT. Featuring the latest technologies from HARMAN, the Digital Cockpit in the ARCFOX αT gives drivers and passengers the option to create individual personal profiles based on facial recognition to provide a rich and seamless in-car experience every time.
Immersive Technology Centers Go Virtual
In the absence of in-person trade shows and industry events, HARMAN found a new way to showcase our latest connected car offerings and automotive technology initiatives: our ExP Studios in Novi, Michigan and Karlsbad, Germany. With 1,400 square feet of open space available to stage three automotive demos along with multiple table-top demo units, both studios offer a fully modular and consumer centric experience that has been crucial to maintaining customer relationships this year. And with top-of-the-line livestreaming capabilities, customers can experience our immersive audio systems, digital cockpit experience, and more from anywhere around the world.
Introducing Luxurious, Immersive, and Personalized In-Vehicle Sound
With a rich history of powering the sound in cars, it should come as no surprise that HARMAN upped the ante this year with cutting-edge sound systems to transform every drive into a ride to remember. This summer, HARMAN revealed the brand-new Volkswagen Arteon and Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake would feature a superior Harman Kardon audio system that combines sound and design to give listeners a truly personalized experience. With four sound settings – Pure, Chill Out, Live, and Energy – vehicle occupants can ensure the in-car sound perfectly matches their listening preferences.
But, we didn’t stop there. In June, we also announced the first-ever Bang & Olufsen premium audio offering in the new 2021 Ford F-150. A pickup truck unlike any other, the Ford F-150 demands a powerful audio system that doesn’t skimp on sound. HARMAN answered the call with its first two-tier B&O premium audio offering – B&O and B&O Unleashed. The 18-speaker B&O Unleashed system feature headrest and headliner speaker for a multi-dimension listening experience that transforms the truck cabin into a private concert experience. To top it off – our engineers spent hundreds of hours testing and benchmarking to ensure optimal sound is maintained in the cabin in any situation.
In October, we also kicked things up a notch in the 2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV with our high-quality in-car sound system from AKG. Featuring 36 speakers expertly crafted to ensure an uncompromised listening experience, our AKG system also allows drivers to create differential audio levels throughout the cabin. In other words, passengers in the second row can rock out to their choice of music without disturbing the occupants in the first row. We are thankful to the various global car audio teams who continued to conceptualize, implement and launch market-shaping solutions with our OEM customers and push the needle on in-car experiences through sound innovation.
Recognizing our Award-Winning Solutions & and Leaders
HARMAN takes pride in delivering great audio systems that truly transform the in-car experiences, and 2020 turned out to be an award-winning year for HARMAN’s solutions. Of the course of this year alone, HARMAN received top honors in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study for the HARMAN Revel and Lexicon branded speaker system, and was also named the FCA Supplier of the Year in recognition of our commitment to providing innovative and quality products and services!
But we know it is our people at HARMAN, more than anything else, who deserve the recognition. It is thanks to the dedication, commitment, and creativity of all our engineers, designers, developers, and experts that we continue to raise the bar for connected car technologies. This year, our very own Lynn Longo, Senior Vice President, Connected Car, Digital Cockpit, received the Automotive News 100 Leading Women Award for her leadership of the largest division within HARMAN and driving innovative product strategy, design, development, and deployment in a highly-disrupted global automotive market.
This year presented unexpected challenges and roadblocks, but our teams didn’t stray from the course of delivering innovations that drive business success. As we head into the next year, HARMAN remains committed to developing the smart, enhanced, and personalized solutions that enrich the in-vehicle experience and help automakers usher in the new era of smart mobility. To learn more about HARMAN’s connected automotive technologies, visit: https://www.harman.com/Connected-Car