Collaboration enables HARMAN to invite customers to drive tests in live LTE networks in Europe; US LTE network drive test to start soon; commitment to lead the automotive industry in innovations to address demand for in-vehicle mobile broadband applications
HARMAN, the leading global audio and infotainment group (NYSE:HAR), is advancing the integration of LTE module into production-ready infotainment systems and announced it is now ready to begin road tests through LTE-networked areas in Europe. Tests in the US will follow. Test vehicles will be equipped with the latest infotainment system platform technology integrating an AirPrime™ embedded wireless module developed by Sierra Wireless, a leader in high-speed mobile computing and wireless machine-to-machine communication (NASDAQ:SWIR) (TSX:SW). The seamless collaboration between HARMAN and Sierra Wireless underlines HARMAN's leadership in technological innovation that enables the "always connected car" with several online services. As LTE continues to emerge as the next generation broadband connection to the car, HARMAN and Sierra Wireless allow drivers to have a truly connected driving experience by giving them access to a vast array of web content and services right from the cloud.
Total Automotive Connectivity enables a Safe, Always-On Digital Lifestyle Experience
As technological first-mover and innovator, HARMAN is committed to advance innovations around connecting the full range of digital devices and platforms, so that the automobile becomes a natural extension of both the office and the home - with a critical focus on safety. Next generation automobile services include off-board navigation, video-on-demand streaming, Internet radio, dynamic loading apps, interactive online manuals and other telematics functions or new driver assistance features such as traffic light recognition. These bandwidth-rich applications require a reliable anytime, anywhere broadband data connection to offer leading automakers and their customers the ultimate on-road experience.
"HARMAN is leading the industry to bring the best "always on", ultra-fast connectivity experience to drivers. Broadband connectivity in your car is becoming a fundamental expectation and lifestyle requirement," said Sachin Lawande, HARMAN Chief Technology Officer and Co-President, HARMAN Infotainment Division. "Just as HARMAN is meeting today's demands for integrated navigation and infotainment solutions, we are pleased to work with Sierra Wireless to address the emerging requirements of automakers for an increasingly connected car."
In anticipation of growing demand from automakers for 4G/LTE solutions, HARMAN started its collaboration with Sierra Wireless a year ago and was the first OEM supplier to announce support for the Sierra Wireless AirPrime embedded modules for LTE networks. With data download speeds of up to 100 Mbps, and uploads as high as 50 Mbps on LTE networks, HARMAN is today able to offer automakers a true multi-faceted media, office and online experience within the vehicle.
"HARMAN leverages deep experience in providing broadband connectivity to vehicle systems and combines this expertise with Sierra Wireless AirPrime™ intelligent embedded modules for LTE networks. First vehicle prototype integration into HARMAN's latest infotainment system generation is ready and shows promising results with peak data rates up to 70 Mbit/s and average speeds of 20 Mbit/s in urban conditions. This will enable us to push this technology into next generation vehicle systems," said Manfred Schedl, Vice President Connectivity of HARMAN's Infotainment Division.
According to automotive researchers Strategy Analytics, 70% of vehicles produced globally in 2009 were equipped with connectivity solutions. This number is expected to increase to 95% by 2012. Consumers show a strong desire to seamlessly control content from the cloud - such as music, movies or navigation apps - through a car's dashboard or steering-wheel controls as they are used from their smartphone or tablet. HARMAN and Sierra Wireless are working on innovative solutions to address consumer driven vehicle-centric demand for wireless enabled, mobile broadband solutions and applications.
"We are excited about the potential for 4G/LTE in the connected car, with its ability to provide a richer multimedia experience that can increase both safety and convenience for passengers and drivers," said Philippe Guillemette, Chief Technology Officer, Sierra Wireless. "This collaboration is a first step in realizing this potential, and we are thrilled to work with HARMAN, a recognized industry leader, to bring these solutions to life."
In addition to its 4G/LTE collaboration with Sierra Wireless, HARMAN helped lead the expansion of the ngConnect Program to China in July 2010, with a public demonstration of an LTE Connected Car during the Shanghai World Expo.
HARMAN (http://www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets - supported by 15 leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 12000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.8 billion for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011. The Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE: HAR.
About Sierra Wireless
Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ: SWIR - TSX: SW) offers industry-leading mobile computing and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications products and solutions that connect people, devices, and applications over cellular networks. Wireless service providers, equipment manufacturers, enterprises and government organizations around the world depend on us for reliable wireless technology. We offer 2G, 3G and 4G wireless modems, routers and gateways as well as a comprehensive suite of software, tools, and services that ensure our customers can successfully bring wireless applications to market. For more information about Sierra Wireless, visit http://www.sierrawireless.com.