Last month, Honda debuted the refreshed 2016 Honda Accord to an audience in California’s Silicon Valley. The tech centre was fittingly chosen because the Japanese automaker is calling this latest model the “highest-tech Accord ever.”
Fortifying that claim is the new standard seven-inch Display Audio touchscreen infotainment system, which is loaded with not only Apple CarPlay that we have talked about in the past, but also Android Auto. The two mobile interfaces are fresh to the automotive realm and help drivers stay connected on a different level.
“Customers want their vehicles to be more intelligently integrated with their smartphone-powered lives, and we are committed to delivering that experience starting with the Accord,” said Dave Gardner, senior vice president of Honda Canada.
Android Auto is compatible with any Android phone running the 5.0 (Lollipop) operating system, and to connect you simply plug in using a USB connector. There is a companion app with the same name that resides on your smartphone acting as a bridge to the car. Once connected, your phone’s display will turn blank and all commands are routed to the dash.
Unsurprisingly, Google is the name of the game here and they develop a lot of the software most drivers will commonly use the most such as Google Maps, Google Now and Google Play Music. Additional familiar apps include Skype, Spotify, iHeart Radio and more. Additional programs are expected to follow down the road.
Using Android Auto should, by now, feel like second nature to today’s mobile device power user. On the Display Audio screen, swiping, tapping and pinching-to-zoom functionality are all available, and there is a heavy emphasis on voice input to minimize distraction to the person behind the wheel. Just a note — Android Auto only controls the entertainment and navigation, but not core vehicle settings like climate control.
Besides obvious changes to the interior electronics, the mid-size sedan gets a major safety upgrade. The Honda Sensing suite is now available across the trim lines featuring forward collision warning, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and others. On the lighting side, LED fog lights and automatic high beams are optional. All Accords are equipped with LED daytime running lights, taillights and a backup camera.
The 2016 Honda Accord will be available in dealerships this fall.