Head in the clouds while on the move

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Harman, global leading supplier of premium audio and infotainment systems, announced today that its Aha business unit has won new business with five premium car manufacturers to implement consumer services based on its cloud-based computing platform bringing a broad spectrum of rich internet content safely into vehicles.

According to market research company JD Power and Associates, new car sales should reach 17.2 million in the USA and Canada in 2013, and Aha’s five new partners should account for approximately 22 percent of that new car market.  The initial Aha implementations will roll out in 2012, with additional vehicles added in future years.

The Aha platform is being integrated with systems manufactured by Harman as well as multiple other hardware manufacturers.  The first OEM partnerships will be announced during the Consumer Electronics Show, to be held in Las Vegas on 9 January 2012.

Aha is Harman’s Silicon Valley-based business unit powering the Web-connected ‘fourth band’ of the radio dial, making Web content as easy to access as AM and FM channels.  Owners of Aha-Ready vehicles will have instant access to thousands of free stations of Web-based content including music services, Internet radio, podcasts, live news, audio books, personalized traffic reports, Facebook and Twitter feeds, location-based services and more, through their factory-installed in-car infotainment systems.

The Aha Service is free of charge for customers and always up-to-date, thanks to its cloud-based technology platform which can easily keep up with rapid-changing web and content companies.  Consumers bring Aha into their car and customize their stations and settings through Aha’s smartphone apps.

“Aha represents the next generation of automotive infotainment services,” explained Michael Mauser, Executive vice president and co-president, Infotainment and Lifestyle.  “The Aha Platform enables our automotive OEM partners to offer their customers an unparalleled, ‘future proofed’ infotainment experience”, continued Mauser.  “With its unique radio-based approach, the platform uniquely enables an intuitive experience for consumers and can be seamlessly integrated in the customized HMIs of the OEMs.”