Garmin and Suzuki have entered into an agreement which will equip most of the Japanese automaker’s 2013 models with a fully integrated infotainment system by Garmin. The system will be available in most of the Suzuki models launched in the US, and select models in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Russia. The system will be displayed at the 2012 New York Auto Show.
Previously, Garmin has supplied the navigation component of Chrysler’s UConnect infotainment system. It has also sold portable navigation units to Suzuki and Nissan. However, this is the first time that the company would be installing a complete, in-dash infotainment system in car models.
The Key Features
The factory-installed infotainment system boasts a 6.1-inch in-dash touch screen and CD player with AM/FM radio. It provides car owners with several connectivity options such as internal flash memory and USB, auxiliary port and Bluetooth. Car owners can enjoy Bluetooth hands-free calling, audio playback and Bluetooth audio streaming. The SD card slot can be used to store digital audio files or map updates.
Some other key features of the system include back-up camera support, Pandora radio and advanced voice control. According to Matt Munn, Garmin’s automotive OEM group managing director, “By leveraging our long-standing experience in developing navigation software, user interfaces and hardware design, we created an integrated system that is easy to use and makes driving more enjoyable.”
In case a GPS is unavailable, such as when driving in a tunnel or an enclosed area, Garmin’s navigation system can provide location information and details by accessing vehicle speed sensors. The system also offers full integration with smart phones. The Garmin Smartphone Link application can also sync with Android phones via Bluetooth and provide drivers with real-time traffic, weather and fuel price updates. The navigation system of Garmin has a voice command system, which allows drivers to enter full addresses and select an audio source to access other functions. Garmin’s PhotoReal Junction View provides lane guidance and can also display information related to traffic and speed limit. The data menu screen is customizable and can display several options, such as direction of travel, estimated time of arrival and distance to destination, on the screen. Updated versions of maps are also available for downloads from the Garmin Web portal.
How much is it?
There has been no formal announcement about the possible pricing and exact availability of the system in Suzuki cars. It is expected that the Grand Vitara, which costs $19,499 onwards, will be the highest priced model featuring this infotainment system along with it’s oem Suzuki rims (most people choose 17 inch rims), keyless starter and leather seats which are often fitted by car owners on the Grand Vitara.
Garmin, a global leader in satellite navigation, has recently opened new offices in China, Japan and Germany to be closer to the leading car manufacturers and automotive suppliers of the world. By providing dedicated support in sales, marketing, product development and engineering, Garmin would be further able to cement its position as the strongest player in satellite navigation.