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Wednesday March 28, 2012

Clarion to make Android AV navigation system for cars

GEORGE TOWN: Clarion (M) Sdn Bhd is now working with several renowned car manufacturers to produce customised units of the Android-based integrated audio-visual navigation system, Clarion Mirage.

Clarion (M) Sdn Bhd managing director T.K. Tan said that in two months the car manufacturers with whom it was working with would get a trial run of the units, design and assembled in Penang.

Clarion is now working with branded car manufacturers such as Proton, Perodua, Nissan Malaysia, and Nissan Thailand to make the customised Clarion Mirage sets for them.

Tech gadget: Tan with Clarion Mirage stereo set

“We are also working with Russian car manufacturers. We have invested in past 24 to 30 months about RM30mil for research and development activities to develop the product, which was conceived in Penang,” he said.

Tan was speaking after the technology launch of Clarion Mirage, which was graced by Star Publications (M) Bhd executive director Tan Sri Kamal Hashim and Clarion (M) deputy managing director Toshiyuki Nakazaki.

In the next two months, Clarion (M) will be ready to produce the first 30,000 to 50,000 units for a car manufacturer.

“Usually, the contract entails producing 30,000 to 50,000 units a year for three years,” Tan said.

“Eventually, when the volume of overseas' demand gets larger, we will then ship out semi-knocked down kits of Clarion Mirage to our facilities in various locations of the world to be assembled close to our customers,” he said.

Tan added that the plant in Penang was currently sourcing about 200 engineers and technicians to support the production of Clarion Mirage locally.

According to him, Tan said since the introduction of Android smart phones and tablets, many have asked what it would be like to put an “Android” in a car. “Today, Clarion Malaysia has answered that question with the Clarion Mirage.”

Clarion had launched the first Android-based car stereo that was upgradeable and fun, yet safe and reliable for all new cars, Tan said, adding that Clarion Mirage would hit the retail market in the final quarter of 2012.

The device plays all audio-visual data that can be played on Android tablets or smartphones.

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