Nvidia’s Tegra line of processors are fast becoming the gold standard of graphical and connected processing in vehicles around the world, as well as more than a few smartphones and gaming tablets. Continuing that trend, Honda has just announced that its new Honda Connect infotainment system will come in all new European Civic models and will be powered by none other than Nvidia’s latest Tegra chip.
Although the new system is priced at 600 euros for the upgrade, this is still considerably less than Honda was charging just a couple of years ago for its Honda HDD Navigation, which set people back by a whopping 2251 euros (£1660). It’s also far more fully featured than that previous piece of hardware/software, so this is easily a more worthwhile package to take on.
The new Honda Connect comes with a seven inch touch-screen display in the centre console, with a Tegra processor (though Honda didn’t specify if it was a K1 or X1, the latter of which has better performance and power consumption than its predecessor, or one of the older numbered models) behind it all. Navigation wise, Connect uses Garmin’s Navigation system, while media playback is handled by a CD player, as well as internet radio, bluetooth connectivity, standard AM/FM and digital radio standards and the much more modern app integration that allows for the likes of Spotify and its contemporaries to offer more comprehensive music and other media.
The whole thing is running on Android 4.0.4 at stock, which is a reasonably old version, though updates in the future should be possible. With 3G and 4G connectivity, they may even be delivered wirelessly, though we have seen some concerns with security due to wireless updating in cars.
There is no word as of yet as to whether Honda’s new system will support Android Auto or Apple’s CarPlay systems, the two most often requested infotainment systems in new cars, though we didn’t spot either in the below demonstration video, so it may be that Honda is shunning the two big software makers in favour of its own, Android based developments.
Fudzilla reports that the interface is easy to use and find your way around and that the navigation system is well put together, but that we’ll need to wait to see the device in the wild before anyone gives judgement on its usefulness and whether it’s worth the still somewhat costly investment.
Although the Honda Civic is the car that the company is talking up the most as having Honda Connect as its dedicated infotainment system, other vehicles also said to have the optional package available include the Honda Civic Tourer and the Honda CR-V four by four. These vehicles are available today, with those picking them up new in the showroom now given the chance to try out the Connect system and potentially add it to their purchase.