Honda is giving its in-car infotainment system a major overhaul with the debut of its all-new cloud-based HondaLink in-car connectivity system. The new system, which is set to debut on the 2013 Honda Accord (a re-envisioning of the uber popular vehicle) this fall follows by the 2013 Honda CrossTour, is the first OEM application of Harman's Aha radio.
When a user purchases a vehicle with HondaLink pre-installed, they simply have to download the HondaLink app to their iPhone or Android device and that's it. Once the app is downloaded, you can customize your favorite Internet radio stations on your smartphone, then connect it to your vehicle via Bluetooth or USB tethering to begin listening to your stations in your car.
In addition to listening to standard Internet radio stations, the voice-activated HondaLink system also offers users the ability to add their Facebook accounts to an Aha-specific Facebook audio channel to have their news feed read out loud to them through the vehicle's speakers. If you're looking for a good place to eat, you can add the Yelp channel and tell the system to look for nearby restaurants. The system will even read users books they have saved on their phones.
You're not limited to listening to Aha's radio stations either. HondaLink will also allow users to add their Slacker radio accounts, giving them access to all of their favorite stations. Additionally, HondaLink will carry over previously implemented connected functions such as hands-free SMS messaging and Pandora radio.
The entire system is controllable by voice, in-dash controls or steering wheel-mounted buttons. And despite all of the functionality, Honda says the system will be as easy to use as a standard AM/ FM radio.
Stay tuned for our full review of Honda's new system in the coming weeks.