Harman and Sierra Wireless bring 4G/LTE connectivity to the car
I’ll admit it: I’m a Harman fan. From their Harman/Kardon home audio products to the AKG microphones and headphones I use, Harmon delivers quality at an affordable price. So when the announcement of Harman’s partnership with Sierra Wireless popped up, my eyes and ears perked up quite quickly.
Announced at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Harman has partnered with Sierra Wireless to bring automotive customers 4G broadband connectivity in-dash. Harman will now support the Sierra Wireless AirPrime embedded modules for LTE networks, offering motorists robust in-vehicle wireless connectivity. So what does this mean? The AirPrime tech will enable high bandwidth (read:fast) telematics, navigation, and online information/entertainment applications. Think of it as a Plex for your car.
“Harman is leading the industry to bring the best “always on”, ultra-fast connectivity experience to enable the rich multimedia applications and information systems that drivers and passengers are coming to expect,” said Sachin Lawande, Harman Chief Technology Officer and Co-President, Harman Automotive Division. “Just as Harman is meeting today’s demands for integrated navigation and infotainment solutions, we are pleased to work with Sierra Wireless to address the emerging requirements of automakers for an increasingly connected car.”
AirPrime modules take advantage of widely adopted, industry standard API’s, thus opening the front doors, and inviting software developers to provide solutions for connectivity, location, and manageability. According to Sierra Wireless, users will be able to access wireless data at download speeds of 100 Mbps, with uploads as high as 50 Mbps on LTE networks. With these speeds, both firms are touting a, “true multi-faceted media, office, and online experience within the vehicle.” In addition to driver friendly real-time mapping and traffic updates, passengers riding in a Harman/Sierra Wireless equipped vehicle can take advantage of online services, available apps, and a wide variety of gaming, streaming video, and full internet access that can be shared across across multiple devices.
“We are excited about the potential for 4G/LTE in the connected car, with its ability to provide a richer multimedia experience that can increase both safety and convenience for passengers and drivers,” said Philippe Guillemette, Chief Technology Officer for Sierra Wireless. “This collaboration is a first step in realizing this potential, and we are thrilled to work with Harman, a recognized industry leader, to bring these solutions to life.”
According to Strategy Analytics, 70 percent of all vehicles produced globally in 2009 have some form of wireless connectivity, and they expect this number to increase to 95 percent by 2012. Harman is clearly pushing to establish themselves as the industry leader in this field, and this partnership with Sierra Wireless moves them one step closer to this goal. Outside of Sierra Wireless, Harman helped lead the expansion of the ngConnect Program to China in July 2010.