Honda's Latest SUV Drives Pandora
The list of carmakers striking deals with Pandora just got longer with the addition of Honda, which announced its partnership with the online audio platform. The first Honda vehicle to incorporate Pandora Internet radio as a standard feature is the 2012 CR-V, the latest model of Honda’s popular compact SUV, which will be available at dealerships across the U.S. beginning Dec. 15.
The CR-V integration offers key Pandora features that help personalize the user’s stations, including thumbs-up, thumbs-down and track skipping. As with other in-vehicle integrations, Pandora access requires a smartphone, which connects with the vehicle’s onboard computer system.
The announcement of the Honda partnership brings the total number of carmakers offering Pandora via a smartphone connection to onboard systems to 14.
Among others, Pandora has partnerships with Ford, Toyota, Mercedes and Hyundai, as well as radio manufacturers Alpine and Pioneer, whose aftermarket products allow drivers to access Pandora from car dashboards.
While onboard computers with digital media capabilities are popular new features, their introduction has not always been smooth sailing for carmakers.
Earlier this month, Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally promised “revised versions” of Ford’s new MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch onboard systems with fixes for a number of shortcomings. Ford’s MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch have both been criticized for cluttered, confusing interfaces and glitches including unexpected shutdowns. Ford Motor Co. is sending owners of cars with these systems installed a flash drive with a downloadable upgrade.