Honda let the cat officially out of the bag today, revealing details about its new HondaLink infotainment system that will be featured in the new 2013 Accord. The new midsize sedan doesn't launch until the fall, but the Japanese automaker is clearly eager to start building momentum for its long-awaited new model by addressing one of the company's long-running deficiencies: connectivity.
HondaLink will feature Aha Radio, a cloud-based digital content service that uses the driver's smart phone data connection for streaming through the vehicle's audio system. The interface uses a radio station model, with users creating content presets. Besides music, news, podcasts and other traditional audio content, Aha will allow drivers to listen to Facebook and Twitter feeds.
For cars with plugs (the Fit EV and the upcoming Accord Plug-In Hybrid), there is HondaLink EV, which includes "unique applications designed specifically to maintain connectivity to their vehicle." You can probably guess what that means: ways to remotely see and control charging status, as well as the ability to pre-heat or pre-cool the cabin, so as to save battery energy. HondaLink EV launches tomorrow when Fit EV becomes available for lease in California and Oregon.
While the video Honda released today plays more like a commercial than a tutorial, we're looking forward to getting our hands on the system. The big question is whether it can vault Honda to the front of the mainstream infotainment pack, or merely put them where Ford was three years ago.
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