Olathe, Kan. - Garmin, the maker of portable navigation devices (PNDs) and other commercial navigation equipment, is stepping up its pursuit of the OEM car market with the announcement that it will provide a factory-installed infotainment system for most 2013 model year Suzuki vehicles available in the U.S.
Garmin already offers detachable PNDs for select Suzuki, BMW and Volvo vehicles in the U.S. as standard equipment or dealer-installed options.
"This is our first in-car infotainment system that we supply to a car manufacturer," a spokesman told TWICE. "We've previously provided different kind of navigation solutions to automakers, such as integrated PNDs or the navigation component for in-dash systems." Garmin, he added, has demonstrated its capability to provide fully integrated cockpits to pilots, and we can build upon this experience to bring a similar level of technology, integration, safety, reliability and efficiency to the automotive market."
Under the new Suzuki arrangement, Garmin is building an infotainment system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, AM/FM, CD player, iPod/iPhone-compatible USB, SD card slot, embedded flash memory, control of Pandora Internet radio on a connected iPhone, backup camera support, Garmin navigation and voice control. Real-time information, such as traffic, parking, weather and fuel prices will be available through the Garmin Smartphone Link app, which links an Android phone to the Suzuki infotainment system via Bluetooth.
The system incorporates Garmin navigation technologies such as spoken turn-by-turn directions with spoken street names, PhotoReal Junction View with lane guidance, speed limit and current speed displays, and millions of points of interest. When switching to the music player and other menus, navigation continues with visual cues displayed at the top of the screen.
Besides building PNDs, Garmin sells its navigation technologies on an OEM basis to automakers and aftermarket autosound suppliers and also offers GPS equipment in the outdoor, fitness, marine and aviation markets.