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Monday, April 21, 2008
Pioneer Introduces Its First In-Dash Flash-memory-based Car Navigation Systems


Pioneer announced today two AV-integrated car navigation systems featuring an internal flash memory for storing map data: AVIC-F900BT (with a DVD/CD mechanism) and AVIC-F700BT (with a CD mechanism).

These models will be launched simultaneously in the consumer markets for North America, Europe, Russia, and Australia in June 2008.

The Pioneer AVIC-F700BT, AVIC-F900BT and Premier branded AVIC-F90BT combine a multitude of functional entertainment capabilities with advanced navigation features. The on-dash AVIC-F500BT, recently unveiled at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show, joins the same elite family of in-dash AVIC-F series navigation systems.

Each of the navigation systems enable users to link and control their personal devices. Apple iPod connectivity, Bluetooth, MSN Direct, HD radio, XM and SIRIUS Satellite Radio, single CD, DVD video playback and compressed audio and video playback through USB and SD memory devices are among the players? numerous capabilities. Additionally, each unit offers a conversational voice recognition system for hands-free dialing of compatible Bluetooth enabled cell phones and control of an entire music collection on iPod players.

A focal feature of all three systems is the sophisticated voice recognition feature collaborated with VoiceBox Technologies, allowing users to control connected iPod players and compatible Bluetooth enabled cell phones by voice. In addition, the systems include conversational commands and intent recognition.

The navigation systems analyze every day conversational commands to initiate music playback and phone calling functions. Users can simply say, "Let?s hear artist Usher" or "I want to listen to artist Chris Brown," to play back songs from specified artists in their iPods. Users can request music using the artist name, album name, playlist name and music genre.

The AVIC-F Series systems also allow conversational elements from the user?s speech such as stumbles and pauses without failing the command. For example, when the user says, "I want to, ah, play artist, um, Black Eyed Peas," the system distinguishes the command phrase from the extra unwanted words to perform the desired function.

In the hands-free phone mode with a compatible Bluetooth enabled cell phone, the system utilizes intent recognition. From a command such as, "Call Robert Smith," the AVIC-F systems can identify the contact without specifying the category it is stored in the phone. These units will prompt users with additional information by responding, "I have three numbers for Robert Smith ? home, mobile and office. Which would you like to call?" The user can then provide the additional information without restating the command.

The AVIC-F navigation systems feature a 5.8-inch high resolution WVGA touch panel display. The AVIC-F700BT starts with a single CD/CD-R/RW playback mechanism while the AVIC-F900BT and AVIC-F90BT are further equipped with CD/CD-R/RW/DVD/DVD-R/RW video playback, capable of reading MP3, WMA, iTunes AAC, Wave, DivX and MPEG4 files.

Each unit also includes a USB interface for quick connection to iPod music players, portable media players and USB memory device. SD memory filled with additional Points of Interest information or compressed audio and video, slides directly into the SD card slot located in front of each unit. When any external device is plugged in, the systems will recognize the source allowing users access and control through the touch panel display and/or voice control (iPod only). Pioneer also added a mini-jack A/V input on the face of each unit for immediate connection to other portable devices, such as camcorders and video players.

As high-end source units, each system is equipped with its Pioneer?s Supertuner IIID AM/FM tuner, XM and SIRIUS Satellite Radio and HD Radio connectivity, three sets of RCA outputs and 50 Watts X 4 high power amplifier.

Each system utilizes flash memory to obtain quicker mapping information and allow an "always on" navigation state. The map database from Tele Atlas covers the entire United States, Canada, Alaska and Hawaii enabling users to route to millions of destinations. The database includes more than 12-million points of interest (POI), for destinations such as gas stations. On the AVIC-F900BT and AVIC-F90BT model, specific landmarks are illustrated using 3-dimentional icons.





As an added benefit, each system employs a Text-to-Speech (TTS) function to further improve its assistance capabilities. Unlike some navigation systems, the AVIC-F models will announce street names in addition to turning instructions ensuring users are warned ahead of time. Drivers will hear, "turn right on Broadway," instead of simply prompting, "Turn right ahead."

The AVIC-F900BT and AVIC-F90BT products also feature MSN Direct connectivity. With a paid MSN subscription, users will receive updated traffic, weather forecasts, gas prices and movie time information for more than 100 cities across the United States and Canada.

Using a PC application from Pioneer, users with compatible PCs can create and store new points of interests onto an SD memory card for the navigation system to reference. This is especially helpful when users want to add their personalized POIs.

For safety and convenience, each unit is equipped with a camera input and back-up trigger. These systems will automatically display images from a separately purchased camera when the vehicle is shifted into reverse. The feature is useful in large automobiles where it can be difficult to see behind the vehicle.

The Pioneer AVIC-F700BT, AVIC-F900BT and Premier AVIC-F90BT will be available in June 2008 for a suggested price of $850, $1,100 and $1,200 respectively.


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