Automakers adding Aha by HARMAN in 2013
January 7, 2013 by John Day
Ford, Chrysler and Porsche are joining Acura, Honda and Subaru in integrating Aha™ by HARMAN. The Aha service uses the Harman Cloud Platform to safely enable Web-based entertainment and information in vehicles in a radio-like format familiar to drivers. By the end of 2013, Aha will be installed into vehicles by more than 10 auto manufacturers which in total represent more than 50 percent of all cars sold in the USA/Canada and up to 30 percent in Europe.
Ford is adding Aha to its Ford Sync Applink platform, which is now live in more than one million vehicles. Chrysler will add Aha to its UConnect Access suite of in-vehicle features. Porsche will offer Aha radio integration as an option across its 911, Boxster, Cayenne, Cayman and Panamera model lines. Online Services, powered by Aha, is an option on vehicles equipped with the latest generation of the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system.
Subaru introduced its new STARLINK connectivity system featuring Aha, which will debut in navigation-equipped 2014 Forrester in all vehicles, and will also be introduced as a running change in 2013 model year Subaru Legacy and Outback models equipped with factory navigation. 2014 model year Subaru Impreza, BRZ, and XV Crosstrek models will add STARLINK integration this summer.
Aha recently expanded upon the 30,000 stations of audio programming available to its customers. Aha’s new media partners include AccuRadio, Deezer, Rdio and SomaFM. Location-based audio services from SurfLine, CustomWeather™, Hear Planet, Park Visitor™ and ROXIMITY are launching as Aha programming. Entertainment and news stations from Entertainment Radio Network and Kaliki let Aha listeners tune into content from OK!, Men’s Fitness, Popular Science, Parenting, Shape, Star, TV Guide, Men’s Health and more. A new partnership with Storynory adds children’s audio content to Aha, with classic storybooks, fairytales, bible stories, educational programs and more.
Aha also continues to expand its aftermarket presence. Alpine Electronics will become Aha’s third major aftermarket partner with the introduction of the ICS-X7HD, its first in-dash app receiver to feature Aha and other connected services (available March 2013). Kenwood is launching 12 cloud-connected head units featuring Aha, with more to follow throughout 2013. Kenwood is the first manufacturer to launch a single-DIN Aha- enabled head unit, the KDC-X897. Pioneer was the first company to ship an Aha-enabled product back in 2011 and currently it offers Aha in three new AVIC head units, AVIC-Z150BH, AVIC-X950BH and AVIC-X850BT.
In addition, iPhone accessories maker Griffin Technology integrated Aha into its $59.99 iTrip Auto APP, allowing any driver with an iPhone to bring Aha safely into their existing vehicle. Consumers who want Aha’s personalized listening experience can download Aha’s updated apps for Android and iPhone.
“Aha lets consumers access their favorite Web content as audio preset buttons wherever they go,” said Robert Acker, VP of Connectivity for Harman. “By connecting people to the web in way that makes sense at 65 MPH, Aha is delivering the next-generation of driver connectivity in a format as familiar as radio. We look forward to the day when drivers of any vehicle can safely access their favorite Web content using Aha.”