Pioneer Electronics says it will be among the first to offer Android Auto-compatible aftermarket products. The company began offering its first solution for Apple CarPlay in October 2014.
Three of the five Pioneer second-generation Networked Entertainment eXperience, or NEX, in-dash multimedia receivers, will feature Android Auto. They are the AVIC-8100NEX, AVIC-7100NEX and AVH-4100NEX.
All three units include HD Radio, the company tells Radio World.
The Android Auto integration enables consumers to connect their compatible smartphones. Designed with safety in mind, Android Auto uses an intuitive interface and voice actions for minimized distraction, the company explains.
HD Radio is on the first screen that is displayed and AM/FM can be as well. During a demo, Radio World found users can customize in what order they want the icons and text to be displayed.
“Integrating Android Auto into our second generation NEX receivers provides compatible Android smartphone owners the ability to use the power and connectivity of their devices for navigation, communications and music,” said Ted Cardenas, vice president of marketing for the Car Electronics Division of Pioneer Electronics USA. Radio World readers may remember Cardenas appeared in our pages this spring.
“Android Auto delivers a familiar and consistent user experience that is optimized specifically for the automotive environment with advanced speech technology for quick and easy voice control and a unique visual display of useful and relevant contextual information.”
Pioneer’s Android Auto compatible units feature high-resolution 7-inch touchscreen displays (capacitive on the AVIC-8100NEX and clear resistive on the AVIC-7100NEX and AVH-4100NEX), an external microphone for hands-free calling and voice control, and a wired remote input used for optional integration with factory installed steering wheel audio controls.
Additional built-in features on compatible NEX models include Bluetooth connectivity, as well as compatibility with Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink. The units also include Pioneer’s AppRadio Mode and Pandora. All are SiriusXM-ready with an additional tuner.
The AVIC-8100NEX lists for $1,400 and the AVIC-7100NEX lists for $1,200; the AVH-4100NEX, excepted to hit store shelves in March is expected to list for $700.
Android Auto compatibility will be available in the 1st quarter of 2015 in the U.S., U.K. and Australia.