Harman International Industries, Incorporated (NYSE: HAR) today announced its plan to establish a software engineering center in the northern Chicago suburbs to further expand on its global network of Infotainment engineering and development centers.
HARMAN is the global leader in providing the world’s automakers with infotainment systems that integrate navigation, multimedia and connectivity solutions to address the growing demand for in-vehicle information and entertainment. As the technology leader in the industry, HARMAN’s systems offer the latest innovations in infotainment including 3D city models, augmented navigation, online services and advanced driver assist (ADAS) technologies. The Company’s newest engineering center will lead the development of next-generation, connected car infotainment systems and automotive-grade cloud platforms. The infotainment systems will be based on open standards such as Linux and Android, and will offer increased customization through advanced integration both with personal smart devices such as smartphones and tablets, and with the cloud.
Dinesh C. Paliwal, Chairman, President and CEO of HARMAN commented, “We are committed to open standards and we believe the time is right to establish this new innovation hub for the development of new infotainment technologies & systems strengthening our position in the connected car space. This new development center will allow us to attract the talent necessary to develop these advanced solutions and facilitate collaboration with innovative middleware and applications companies for robust, end-to-end solutions. The connected car is becoming a priority for all automakers and they are looking to us to offer this solution.”
Chicago and its environs are the home to a number of advanced technology companies, including innovators in the navigation and telecommunications areas, as well universities such as Northwestern, the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
In 2011, HARMAN was the first technology partner to the automotive industry to adopt the Android Open Accessory Protocol into its infotainment systems designs, allowing users to connect their Google-powered smartphone or tablet and control their devices through the head unit, steering wheel buttons or voice commands. By adopting and implementing the Android protocol, HARMAN’s systems have access to a user’s music, movie, and navigation apps, along with SMS and email functionality. Beyond Android support, HARMAN infotainment systems supports all major mobile operating systems for full functionality integration, including Apple’s iOS, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry platform and Nokia’s existing mobile systems.