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Nvidia Tegra rides shotgun on Honda’s Connect IVI system

Oct 2, 2014 — by Eric Brown — 1,149 views

Nvidia announced that its Tegra SoC will run Android on a newly tipped Honda Connect IVI system in 2015 Honda Civic, Civic Tourer, and CR-V cars in Europe.

When the Honda Connect in-vehicle infotainment system was unveiled this week at the 2014 Mondial de l’Automobile (Paris Auto Show), Nvidia quickly chimed in with a design win announcement. The system uses its Tegra system-on-chip, making Honda the 19th automaker to incorporate Nvidia technology in IVI systems. Some 6 million cars currently incorporate Nvidia processors, says Nvidia, which projects the number will grow to 25 million in five years.

Honda Connect
(click images to enlarge)

It’s unclear whether Honda Connect is intended as an eventual replacement for the iOS-oriented HondaLink IVI system, which was announced in 2013 and is being integrated in certain 2015 Honda models such as the Honda Fit. HondaLink has received low scores in Consumer Reports rankings. A USA Today story earlier this year quoted Jake Fisher, director of auto testing for CR, as saying, “Honda Accord V-6 is one the most competitive midsize sedans we can’t recommend, because of problems with the HondaLink system.”

Nvidia and Honda worked together to integrate the Android 4.0.4 powered Honda Connect in the 2015 Honda Civic, Civic Tourer and CR-V, says Nvidia. The new IVI system will at least initially be available only in Europe.

2015 Honda Civic

The Honda Connect IVI system offers fast response to touchscreen gestures like pinch, zoom and swipe, says Nvidia. The Honda Connect system offers a 7-inch, capacitive touchscreen, customizable displays, satellite navigation, AM/FM/DAB, a rearview camera, and vehicle information. Access to the Honda App Center enables compatible apps for use on the touchscreen, such as the Aha Radio app, which is also available on HondaLink.

Jetson TK1

Nvidia did not say which Nvidia processor was being used, but its current automotive platform is the Nvidia Jetson Pro kit, which uses the Cortex-A15 like Tegra 3 system-on-chip. The kit is GENIVI-compliant, and runs Android and Linux. A more advanced Jetson TK1 kit, which uses the latest, quad-core, Tegra K1 SoC with 192-core Kepler graphics, was demoed earlier this year in a self-driving Audi car. Unlike the original Jetson kit, the TK1 is a general purpose single board computer.

At CES in January, Nvidia tipped an upcoming Tegra K1 VCM (vehicle computing module) reference design, said to support semi-autonomous driving features including pedestrian detection and blind spot monitoring. Nvidia is the sole semiconductor member of Google’s Open Automotive Alliance, a consortium for Android-powered automotive systems, and is a supporter of Google’s related Android Auto connectivity stack, which was not mentioned in this week’s announcement.

“Inside these Honda models, the Nvidia Tegra solution leverages Android to deliver an open, flexible infotainment platform,” Stated Rob Csongor, vice president and general manager for Automotive at Nvidia.

Further information

More information on the Nvidia design win in selected 2015 Honda cars in Europe may be found at this Nvidia blog announcement.

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