We recently caught a glimpse of the 2013 Honda Accord, which led us to believe the next-gen car would feature a new infotainment system. The spy shots revealed Pandora radio and new controls, but Honda just revealed HondaLink, its new cloud-based infotainment system.
Co-developed with Aha by Harman, Honda says the new system provides all the benefits of a smartphone without the distractions. Through the use of what it calls an intuitive interface, HondaLink's setup brings a variety of apps such as Yelp and Slacker Radio, as well as audio books, podcasts from NPR, and destination-oriented content to the cockpit. Through the use of steering-wheel-mounted controls, in-dash controls, and voice commands, drivers can have their Facebook and Twitter feeds read aloud so they're always in the know while they're on the go. HondaLink will also incorporate Pandora and the voice-to-text SMS texting that was introduced in the 2012 CR-V.
Although the Fit EV is essentially the first Honda to use the new telematics system, that low-volume hatch uses an embedded telematics control system. The upcoming 2013 Honda Accord plug-in hybrid will also feature a version of the HondaLink EV, which the automaker says will allow drivers to remotely view the car’s state of charge and initiate charging. The latest version of HondaLink, which will appear in the refreshed Crosstour after the 2013 Accord, works via tethered smartphones. Drivers with iPhones can connect through a USB port, while Androids use Bluetooth. Honda also says the system requires few software updates, and that drivers may soon have the ability to connect an iPad in their vehicles. It's not clear whether HondaLink will come standard in the new Accord; we'll just have to wait to find out.
Honda Increasing Production Capacity of Indiana Civic Plant
Meanwhile, Honda's Indiana plant is raising annual production capacity by 50,000 units to 250,000 cars starting early next year. The company invested $40 million into the plant, and will be adding 300 new employees later this year to help build the Civic Hybrid. The hybrid is the latest vehicle added to the Indiana plant's production line, which includes the regular Civic sedan, Civic Natural Gas, and Acura ILX Hybrid.