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Garmin® Next-Generation Infotainment System Turns Car Dashboard Into Digital Cockpit

7 January 2013 @ 7:00 AM  / Automotive Blog / Company News /


Garmin K2 Infotainment Platform

We've discussed new technology from our automotive OEM group here on our blog before, including the innovative multi-sensor controller concept. At this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas we're taking it a step further by unveiling K2, our next-generation automotive infotainment solution. Inspired by Garmin’s avionics and marine technology, K2 turns the car dashboard into a digital cockpit that provides drivers a safe and intuitive way to stay connected and access all the functions they need while on the road. The system intelligently combines digital displays, voice control, infrared buttons and smartphone integration to provide drivers access to everything from navigation to vehicle diagnostics, office features, communications, music and radio to real-time information from the Web.

The innovative K2 platform has been designed and developed by Garmin’s automotive OEM group and is a fully customizable and scalable solution to meet the diverse needs of any car manufacturer.

“Our K2 infotainment platform provides drivers an elegant glass cockpit that functions as their digital hub. It allows them to control driving-related functions as well as aspects of their digital life in an intuitive and seamless way that minimizes driver distraction,” said Matt Munn, Garmin managing director automotive OEM. “Garmin’s experience in user interface design and hardware integration was paramount when developing K2. We already provide fully-integrated digital cockpits for aviation and marine OEMs, so providing a similar level of safety and integration for cars is a logical next step for us.”

Key features of Garmin’s K2 infotainment platform include:

Glass Cockpit with Advanced Voice Control

Garmin K2 features a 10-inch glove-friendly multi-touch screen at the center of the dash and a digital and reconfigurable 12- inch instrument panel behind the steering wheel. In addition to the standard gauges, the instrument panel provides the driver notifications and snapshots of information, such as navigation, communications, audio and vehicle information. This allows drivers to access crucial information at a glance while keeping their eyes on the road. If the driver sees an incoming text message or email, for example, he can ask the system to read the message and respond via voice. Garmin’s advanced voice controls allow the user to interact with K2 using natural and conversational language to get weather or traffic information, check their calendar or search for addresses or points of interest. Crucial functions can also be accessed using configurable infrared buttons that automatically detect an approaching hand.

3D Navigation and Location Services

The driving experience itself is defined by mobility, so navigation, maps and location services are at the center of Garmin’s K2 infotainment platform. The system features onboard 3D navigation with city models that show realistic and beautifully rendered 3D representations of buildings for better orientation. The system is capable of integrating real-time information, such as fuel prices, parking, traffic, tracking, weather forecasts and images from traffic cameras. It warns users when they’re running low on gas and automatically finds gas stations on the driver’s route. Users can also create to do or reminder lists and the system can remind them at the right time based on location. For example, if the driver has a list of things to pick up at a home improvement store, it could remind him of that next time he is in the area. To even further take some of the cognitive load off the driver, Garmin is developing additional features that automatically draw conclusions from accessible information. Through the combination of calendar and navigation functions, for example, the system would know if the driver is running late due to traffic, so it could automatically ask if the driver wants to contact the parties of upcoming meetings and inform them about the delay.

Smartphone Integration and Web Portal

Garmin K2 integrates important smartphone functionalities through a bridge app that connects the smartphone to the dashboard system via Bluetooth® technology. Through this app, the system has access to the user’s email, calendar, text messages and other features and can present this information on a customized interface and in a driver-friendly way. The bridge app can also be used to integrate any type of information or functionalities from third-party apps that the user already uses on his smartphone, such as radio, music or other content. Instead of simply mirroring smartphone apps onto the in-dash display, Garmin’s system allows for the development of customized interfaces and integration into the system to provide a seamless and safe experience.


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