Harman reveals EV-specific audio and communications system at CES 2020

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 07 Jan 2020

Harman International, which is fully focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, has announced its EV Plus+ Solutions, a new audio and communications solutions bundle designed specifically for the fast growing electric vehicle (EV) segment. The solutions overcome challenges unique to EVs and offer consumers a no-compromise level of entertainment, communication and comfort, flexibly and sustainably.

As the automotive industry enters its greatest period of change in decades, one significant driver of this change is the shift to electric powertrains as a response to climate change concerns. By 2040, Bloomberg NEF expects over half of all global vehicle sales and over a third of vehicle fleets to be electric.

However, range anxiety continues to be a barrier for electric vehicle adoption, with vehicle charging as one of the main concerns for 83 percent of non-EV owners. Such concerns have made the inclusion of popular in-car features that require a power draw, including premium audio and entertainment, especially challenging when engineering for an electric vehicle environment. Leveraging efficient acoustic technologies and cloud-based software innovation, Harman says its EV Plus+ Solutions solves for those challenges with a scalable, low weight, and reduced complexity system architecture that provides double the acoustic power and performance without impacting range when compared to a traditional audio system with comparable performance.

As growth in the EV market continues to accelerate, so does consumer demand for premium, personalised in-cabin experiences from their vehicles. With such a focus on efficiency, EVs often cannot offer the same level of premium in-cabin features available in traditional vehicles. EV Plus+ Solutions, according to Harman, is the first-ever approach that delivers branded audio and personalized experiences on demand in a fully sustainably way designed expressly for electric vehicles.

“At Harman, we believe the next-generation of mobility should convert the time you spend in your car into time well spent – and electric vehicles are no exception,” said Bill Wyman, VP of Global Marketing, Lifestyle Automotive. “Environmental concerns are guiding purchase decisions more and more, but the demand for premium experiences hasn’t changed. Through the groundbreaking delivery system of Ecotect that underpins EV Plus+ Solutions, we’re enabling automakers to fulfill these needs for their customers, without compromises, for the very first time.” 

Highlights of EV Plus+ Solutions
Three new Harman offerings work together, enabling an uncompromised, premium EV experience:

Ecotect: An EV system design solution that ensures powerful audio performance with half the parts, and boasts reduced weight, reduced complexity and reduced power consumption when compared to a traditional system. Ecotect features high-efficiency speakers, a proprietary Prodigy Booster amplifier and Power Manager 2.0 technology, all layered in via a unique architecture that leverages innovative speaker locations, sustainable materials and sophisticated signal processing to deliver premium audio and communications experiences with EV-optimized efficiency.     

Audio Marketplace: New, cloud-based ecosystem powered by Harman Ignite, Audio Marketplace allows users to add and update in-vehicle audio, entertainment and communication features on-demand, with the touch of a button. This unique, open-ended OTA offering enables a new level of personalisation and flexibility for the in-car experience throughout the life of the vehicle.

Software-enabled branded audio: Downloadable, instantly activated and leveraging the Ecotect system components, software-enabled branded audio offers an entirely new way to upgrade from a base audio to a premium branded audio experience in new vehicles – over the air, at the touch of a button. With this unique delivery model, consumers can elect to add premium, branded audio to any Ecotect-equipped vehicle at purchase, or to activate it later on at any time during the vehicle lifecycle.

Harman says its EV Plus+ Solutions are available to OEMs for in-vehicle integration. The company is demonstrating EV Plus+ Solutions at the Harman Showcase at CES 2020.