Harman secures $3 billion+ infotainment contracts

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Even though Apple and Google are trying to carve up the highly connected infotainment industry between them when it comes to new generations of cars, other manufacturers that have been playing that game for far longer have a different idea. Harman International has this week announced that already this year it has secured over $3.2 billion worth of contracts from different auto-makers around the world.

While a lot of the companies buying software and hardware from Harman are OEMs, more customer facing companies have also signed on to buy large quantities of infotainment systems, including BMW Group, Daimler AG and Fiat.

“HARMAN has a proven track record of performance and technology innovation that automakers trust to enable a safe, secure and differentiated connected car experience,” said Dinesh C. Paliwal, Harman’s chairman, president, and CEO “These latest awards from our long-time partners reflect an increasing demand from automakers and their drivers for more sophisticated, embedded infotainment and car audio systems and HARMAN’s ability to meet those demands with best in class technologies.”

On top of the renewed contracts from some of Harman’s long time partners, it also saw new business leads generated and will be providing infotainment systems to the likes of Ford, Chrysler, Hyundai and Geely as well.

Much like Apple and Google’s systems, Harman’s latest offerings also include applications, streaming solutions and an overall much more connected experience from within the car. It has also made software advancements which should make for a better auditory experience, delivering specific sound zones within the car, so that people can heavily customise where the most volume is. It also means people can listen to different music throughout the vehicle if they so choose. Other additional technologies introduced in Harman’s latest entertainment systems include QuantumLogic Surround, Logic7 and Clari-Fi, which will each improve the listening experience that bit more.

On top of media entertainment options, there’s also a new connected navigation system, which can update a route while it’s being taken to reflect changing weather, road conditions or traffic.

One of the big advantages of Harman’s systems over those of the more traditional tech makers is that it doesn’t require a smartphone from either company to have full functionality. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t benefit from it, as it will likely be the case that Harman will include options for both CarPlay and Android Auto features in the future, making its software the most versatile of the bunch.

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Jon Martindale is an English author and journalist, who's written for a number of high-profile technology news outlets, covering everything from the latest hardware and software releases, to hacking scandals and online activism.