Pioneer Adds Second Car A/V-Nav Unit With Pandora


Long Beach, Calif. - Pioneer has added a second DVD-equipped navigation unit with the ability to control Pandora's music-service app installed on a cable-connected iPhone.

Citing strong demand for bringing Internet radio to the car, Pioneer will ship this flagship A/V nav unit, the $1,599-suggested AVIC-Z120BT, in June to join the AVIC-X920BT, which shipped in April and was re-priced to a suggested $1,099 from $1,199. Both are double-DIN units.

With either head unit, consumers control the iPhone-installed Pandora app from the head unit's controls and view a Pandora menu and metadata on the head units' screen. On the screen, consumers see detailed track information and album art. With the head unit's controls, consumers rate a song with a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down," bookmark a song or artist, skip the currently playing track, and change Pandora stations.

The new model features a motorized high-resolution 7-inch WVGA touch screen display, 3D graphics accelerator, onscreen iPod/iPhone control, and inputs to connect outboard satellite radio and HD Radio tuners. Other key features include built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and wireless music streaming from a handheld device, USB connectivity, SD card slot, back-up camera input, Tele Atlas map database covering the 50 states and Canada, enhanced voice recognition to input destination addresses by voice, and dual-zone capability to let rear-seat passengers watch DVD video on a rear display with and headphones while front passengers listen to music sources through the car's speakers.

Other features include FM RDS, dual A/V inputs, and 4-volts preamp outputs.

The head unit also features proprietary MusicSphere technology to create mood-based playlists from songs stored on a connected iPhone. MusicSphere analyzes the music library and creates 40 specialized playlists based on various musical attributes, such as rhythm pattern, beats per minute, year of the song and/or date added to the device, and feelings, such as bright, energetic, gloomy, and relaxing calm. Users are also able to create a "DJ Playlist" for a non-stop mix of selected music types, with blending between songs.

The navigation section's ECO Driving feature provides estimated fuel cost of trips, a vehicle's CO2 emissions, analysis of driving habits and generates reports with suggestions to improve fuel efficiency.

 For its user interface, the new head unit provides 3D animation in the navigation maps, touch-slide controls, an expanded album-art display, two-speed scrolling, and a customizable home menu that lets users drag and drop up to 15 function icons into the home page.


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