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Jul. 1, 2004
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Pioneer Announces Car Navigation System With Removable 30GB Hard Disk

May 18, 2004 (TOKYO) -- Pioneer Corp announced a car navigation system, called "Carrozzeria HDD" (Cyber Navi), equipped with a removable 30GB hard disk.

Pioneer's Carrozzeria HDD
The new Cyber Navi system is designed so that its "central unit," consisting of the computer and high-capacity hard disk drive at the heart of the system, can be removed.

Once removed, the hard disk can be inserted into a "Living Kit" box at home, and hooked up to a TV set and other equipment. Users can create driving plans or listen to music recorded onto the hard disk, in their homes.

Because the Living Kit device supports a broadband connection to the Internet, in the future users will be able to upgrade maps and other information at home. This should be feasible "within the next 12 months," a Pioneer official said. Toshiba Corp makes the hard disk drive.

The new system also has a function for predicting traffic congestion. The hard disk stores a vast amount of past traffic data, analyzed statistically by season, time of day, day of the week, and other parameters. For example, the system can display maps showing the level of forecast traffic congestion for a specific date and time, or suggest the best route based on the past predictive data and current traffic information.

Taking out the brain unit from the car navigation system
Additionally, the new Cyber Navi system has a music auto-select feature that plays the most suitable tracks from those recorded on the hard disk, according to the driver's mood. When music is transferred from CD to the hard disk, a dedicated digital signal processor identifies the characteristics of each track, including the rhythm, harmony and so on, and stores the information on the hard disk. Based on the track characteristics stored with the music, the system automatically selects and plays tracks to match the particular mood selected by the driver (happy, upbeat, quiet, sad, or soothing).

The AVIC-ZH900MD model with a 7-inch wide touch panel and DVD/MD/CD will cost 388,500 yen. The AVIC-ZH900, which is identical to the AVIC-ZH900MD but without the MD player, will cost 367,500 yen. Both models are due for release in late June. Monthly production is expected to be 12,000 units of the AVIC-ZH900MD, and 4,000 units of the AVIC-ZH900.

Related stories:
- Alps Electric Introduces Haptic Technology for X-by-Wire
- Sony Debuts Linux OS in HDD-Equipped Car Navigation System
- Japan's Shipments of HDD Car Navigation Systems Rose Sharply: JEITA

Read this story in Chinese.

(Yasuo Tanokura, Deputy Editor, Nikkei Electronics)





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