Whether in the dashboard of a $120,000 supercar, or a $15,000 economy sedan, NissanConnect presides over the infotainment ecosystem in Nissan’s line of cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles.
Don Teeter is Nissan North America’s director of overseas program development and vehicle connected services. He says NissanConnect “combines navigation, security, entertainment and ways to stay in touch with a dash mounted system system designed to keep the driver connected to the vehicle.”
The first vehicle equipped with NissanConnect was the 2015 Nissan Maxima sedan. The system is available now on 10 Nissan models. Some of those models have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity with a USB tether to a smartphone, and through NissanConnect Mobile, apps such as Pandora and iHeartRadio. NissanConnect with Navigation includes satellite radio, SXM Traffic and Travel Link data (weather, movie times, sports scores and stock quotes). Some of the other telematics functions (vehicle control and monitoring, for example) are performed with an embedded modem.
NissanConnect customers will encounter various screens. Here is a sampling, shown from top: the home screen/main menu; audio source screen; FM/HD Radio screen; XM satellite radio screen; and the AM radio screen. Note that this dashboard retains the physical tuner and volume knobs.
Photos by Paul Kaminski
Nissan 4G Wi-Fi for internet connection is available on the following models: Versa Note, Sentra, Altima, Maxima, Rogue, Murano, Pathfinder, Armada and the Titan pickup truck. Subscription plans for one and 5 gigabytes of data per month are available from Autonet Mobile.
The audio controls for NissanConnect use a combination of voice, touchscreen and old school knobs and buttons to navigate through the menus. To tune in to an HD channel, for example, a user would first find a channel broadcasting a HD signal, then turn the tuning knob a notch to the HD1, 2, 3, etc. signals.
Teeter says a tutorial on NissanConnect is “part of the checklist review during a new car delivery, and the tutorial includes an instructional video and short overview of the features.” Nissan has an extensive website with answers to most questions about the system (nissanusa.com/connect/faq). If your station has a sales or trade relationship with a Nissan dealer, then that website might be a good one to read, before an initial or follow up visit with the dealer.
How can a station be a resource for the Nissan dealer wishing to help its customers take full advantage of the NissanConnect system? Much of that begins in the engineering shop and transmitter site, with signal optimization and appropriate processing for both analog and HD channels. Some of that includes the quality checks from the programming department to see if the metadata for each piece of music or program element is properly entered, so it displays properly on the user screen. Obviously, the programming should be compelling enough to convince the user to navigate through the menus and twist dials to find that programming, whether on a main or HD channel.
Nissan’s advertising tag line is #InnovationThatExcites. Come to think of it, that could be a good motto for radio.
Paul Kaminski, CBT, has been a Radio World contributor since 1997, and writes the Road Warrior column which deals with connected car topics and tools for radio newspeople. Twitter: @msrpk_com; Facebook: PKaminski2468.