Garmin Enters True Car Audio

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Garmin is providing a full car audio OEM factory installed system (not just GPS) for most 2013 Suzuki vehicles in the U.S.

Garmin Suzuki infotainmentThe system  includes a Bluetooth head unit with Pandora radio control and a 6.1 inch high resolution, touch screen. It also includes voice control over Pandora as well as the CD player, radio and navigation.

Until now, Garmin provided only dedicated GPS systems to car makers or it supplied the navigation component for a car radio, rather than full infotainment systems.

Garmin’s Suzuki system makes its official debut at the New York Auto Show this week.

Garmin said the new system “goes beyond GPS navigation and provides a whole range of information and entertainment functions,” according to  Matt Munn, Garmin’s managing director automotive OEM. “By leveraging our long-standing experience in developing navigation software, user interfaces and hardware design, we created an integrated system that is easy to use and makes driving more enjoyable.”

The new Garmin system can connect to a phone or iPod and has a USB and AUX in jack plus SD card slot. It supports a backup camera and steering wheel controls and its navigation function allows for optional TMC traffic.

Garmin’s voice control includes address entry in navigation without the need to go through multiple steps.

Additionally, real-time information, such as traffic, dynamic parking, weather and fuel prices, will be available through a Garmin Smartphone Link app.

Garmin said it designed and built the system for Suzuki, including hardware and software.  The car maker has yet to announce if the Garmin system will be standard or optional equipment.

Garmin also has agreements with BMW, Chrysler, Honda, Kenwood, Panasonic, Suzuki and Toyota, among others.

When asked if Garmin plans to offer full car audio aftermarket products (beyond its collaboration with Kenwood), the company said it could not comment on future products.

Source: Garmin

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