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Lots More Infotainment Options

John Day

John Day

Posted Feb 18, 2014

Subaru of America recently announced that Harman’s Aha Radio will be a standard feature in all Subaru models and trims, starting with the 2015 Legacy. Smartphone-savvy vehicle owners can use Aha to access more than 100,000 channels of Web-based content.  

That led me to wonder about Pandora, but not for long. Within days, Subaru announced that Pandora smartphone integration will be part of the standard Subaru STARLINK™ infotainment connectivity feature, at least in the 2015 Legacy sedan and probably in other models going forward. Pandora lets users create and play their own radio stations based on artist or genre.

Aha has been available in Subaru vehicles for some time. It’s also available in cars from several other automakers, including Ford, Chrysler, Porsche, Acura, and Honda. It’s there for a reason:

“Our partnership with Harman and its Aha Radio service has helped Subaru offer safe and easy-to-use infotainment content to our customers,” says David Sullivan, marketing strategy & launch manager, Subaru of America. “In 2013, we had an all-time best sales year for the fifth consecutive time with 60% of our customers being new to the brand, so it is important for us to keep pace with technological change. We expect the expansion of our partnership with Aha Radio to have a positive impact on the Subaru brand and its future growth.”

Ken Lin, Subaru of America’s director of product planning, adds that nearly half of all radio listening takes place in the car,” and Pandora adds versatility. Subaru is also offering Gracenote software, which displays album art and can update the art via smartphone.

The new infotainment systems in Subarus and other cars include touch control screens as well as steering wheel control switches and voice operation.

Does anyone remember when having a cassette player in a car was a big deal?

Porsche, Pandora, smartphone integration, Acura, Chrysler, 2015 Legacy, Subaru of America, Honda, Web-based content, Infotainment, Ford, Harman's Aha Radio

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John DayJohn Day recently launched John Day’s Automotive Electronics News ( to provide news and feature coverage of the automotive electronics industry. Earlier he wrote for Auto Electronics magazine, Auto E-lectronics, EE Times, and other business and engineering publications. Visit John Day

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