Dinesh C. Paliwal, Chairman, President and CEO of HARMAN commented, “We are committed to open standards and we believe the time is right to establish this new innovation hub for the development of new infotainment technologies & systems strengthening our position in the connected car space. This new development center will allow us to attract the talent necessary to develop these advanced solutions and facilitate collaboration with innovative middleware and applications companies for robust, end-to-end solutions. The connected car is becoming a priority for all automakers and they are looking to us to offer this solution.”
Chicago and its environs are the home to a number of advanced technology companies, including innovators in the navigation and telecommunications areas, as well universities such as Northwestern, the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
In 2011, HARMAN was the first technology partner to the automotive industry to adopt the Android Open Accessory Protocol into its infotainment systems designs, allowing users to connect their Google-powered smartphone or tablet and control their devices through the head unit, steering wheel buttons or voice commands. By adopting and implementing the Android protocol, HARMAN’s systems have access to a user’s music, movie, and navigation apps, along with SMS and email functionality. Beyond Android support, HARMAN infotainment systems supports all major mobile operating systems for full functionality integration, including Apple’s iOS, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry platform and Nokia’s existing mobile systems.
HARMAN is also a member of the recently-formed Automotive Grade Linux Workgroup as part of the Linux Foundation, with a goal to foster widespread industry collaboration and reference distributions that advance Linux-based automotive device development. HARMAN is also a member of GENIVI, the industry alliance committed to driving the broad adoption of an in-vehicle Infotainment (IVI) open-source development platform.