Corrected. We already expected to see more of Harman’s Aha in-car car-app system in aftermarket radios at CES next month. And now Harman says we’ll be seeing the system eventually in over 20 percent of new cars.
Harman announced Wednesday its Aha business unit has won contracts with 5 premium car manufacturers and one of the automakers’ identities will be announced at the CES show next month. These are Aha’s first OEM partnerships.
Aha claims to make apps in the car as easy to use as AM/FM radio.
Its handful of new car partners will use Aha’s cloud-based platform to bring Internet content into new autos starting n 2012.
Together, the 5 auto makers account for about 22 percent of the new car market in North America, said Harman.
Aha is currently available on Pioneer car radios offering an easy way to use Facebook, Twitter, Yelp! and other apps in the car at no extra charge. Aha also now works with Slacker Radio. Users must connect their smartphones to the car radio to receive Aha service.
Harman says owners of Aha-ready new vehicles “will have instant access to thousands of free stations of Web-based content including music services, Internet radio, podcasts, live news, audio books, personalized traffic reports, Facebook and Twitter feeds, location-based services and more, through their factory-installed in-car infotainment systems.”
Aha’s Robert Acker has said in the past, he expects Aha to be as common as Pandora and satellite radio in the car.