Harman wins telematics deal with Daimler

Telematics specialist Harman has secured a deal with Daimler to equip vehicles with new control units providing connectivity to the carmaker’s intelligent traffic management centers.

Harman (Stamford, CT, USA) will also install so-called micro-electrical mechanical system (MEMS) microphones in Daimler (Stuttgart, Germany) vehicles – representing the first time microphones with MEMS technology have been used by Harman in the automotive sector.

“We are proud to continue our long-standing alliance with Daimler,” said Dinesh Paliwal, Harman’s chairman and chief executive. “The latest awards for enhanced telematics followed by MEMS microphones validate the confidence HARMAN has earned to deliver superior technologies that drivers expect in a Daimler vehicle.”

Harman says the telematics services will help to prevent accidents, reduce carbon emissions and improve traffic flow on congested roads in the years ahead.

Its technology includes support for high-speed connectivity via 4G networks, as well as network security technologies and a range of safety features, including eCall (through which vehicles make calls to emergency services in the even of a collision).

Harman says the system is also “field-upgradeable” to ensure compatibility with the latest telematics products and specifications.

Meanwhile, the installation of MEMS microphones will allow drivers to interact with vehicle systems verbally.

Harman says it will install two MEMS microphones per vehicle – one above the driver’s seat and the other above the passenger’s seat.

“Being so small, MEMS microphones can be installed behind the roofliner, enabling highly accurate, hands-free voice control of a phone and vehicle infotainment and navigation systems,” said Harman.

MEMS microphones are to replace microphones currently installed in inside mirrors, added Harman, and will be rolled out along with the telematics control units in the first Daimler vehicles for 2016.

Harman says it will first introduce the technology to E- and C-Class Mercedes models, with S-Class vehicles to follow.