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Subaru Debuts STARLINK Technology At CES

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Subaru of America, Inc. debuted their new STARLINK in-car connectivity brand at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. Subaru STARLINK cabin technology represents the automaker’s new infotainment strategy. For the first time ever, Subaru had a stand-alone presence at CES, demonstrating its driver-friendly Aha integration and Eyesight® driver-assist system on the all-new 2014 Forester.

STARLINK is the product of a new, cross-functional infotainment team created by Subaru parent company Fuji Heavy Industries. The global team of engineers, planners, and marketing strategists are working together to enhance connectivity & safety technology features in Subaru vehicles, while also simplifying and reducing overall cabin complexity.

“Subaru is proud to unveil STARLINK cabin technologies at the world’s largest consumer electronics tradeshow,” said Akio Takai, FHI Deputy General Manager, and leader of the infotainment cross-functional team (ICFT). “We understand that the driving experience is about much more than mobility, and we know that today’s car shopper is looking for technologies that are value-added but also safe, helping them accomplish their daily errands without adding to driver distraction.”

STARLINK Infotainment
The STARLINK connectivity suite offerings begin with the trend-setting Aha service by long-time Subaru partner HARMAN International. With Aha, Subaru drivers can safely access tens of thousands of stations of Web-based content such as: NPR® podcasts and 900 NPR member radio stations available via streaming; on demand music services such as Slacker® MOG® and Rhapsody®; news, talk radio, and podcasts from around the world; CBS RADIO’s Radio.com; free audio books; personalized hotel recommendations from TripAdvisor; customized weather, surf and local park information; Facebook® and Twitter® newsfeeds in audio; and personalized restaurant and café recommendations from Yelp®. The channels from Aha are constantly changing and growing, allowing customers to always be able to access their favorite content from the web.

“Subaru STARLINK is about enhancing the driver’s experience,” said David Sullivan, Cross-Car Planning Manager for Subaru of America. “Aha gives drivers an easy, inexpensive and safe way to interact with information from their smartphone device without touching it while driving – the simple to use interface is transferred to your vehicle navigation screen automatically. We research, talk, and interact with consumers regularly – and many are looking for a safe way to utilize their apps in-car. We think the Aha app integration is a great way to kickoff our STARLINK efforts, and has much of the content our customers are looking for.”

STARLINK will continue to grow, adding content partners and connectivity capabilities over time. It will debut in the all-new 2014MY Subaru Forester in all navigation-equipped vehicles, and will also be introduced as a running change in 2013MY Subaru Legacy & Outback models equipped with factory navigation. 2014MY Subaru Impreza, BRZ, and XV Crosstrek models will all be adding STARLINK integration this summer as well.

EyeSight
Combining safety and convenience features, the Subaru EyeSight driver-assist system is one of the most affordable technologies of its type available in the United States market. EyeSight integrates adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, pre-collision throttle management, and vehicle lane departure and sway warning. Under certain circumstances, EyeSight is able to bring the car to a complete stop, thus avoiding a collision.

EyeSight uses two charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras developed by Subaru, and supplied by Hitachi. EyeSight is mounted inside the car on the upper edge of the windshield, thus reducing the potential for damage that could occur in bumper-mounted systems, such as radar. The EyeSight system processes stereo images to identify the vehicles traveling in front, as well as obstacles, traffic lanes and other items. The video information is relayed to the EyeSight module, which is also networked with the car’s braking system and electronic throttle control, among others. Below closing speeds of approximately 19mph, EyeSight is capable of detecting pedestrians in the vehicle’s path and can activate in order to mitigate or even avoid a collision.

“Our STARLINK connectivity strategy builds on the Subaru heritage of fun-to-drive vehicles that are recognized for best-in-class safety and durability,” said Takai. “As technology evolves, so will our STARLINK offerings. We look forward to satisfying our customers more in the future with this new direction at Subaru.”

Sujeet Patel is the founder of Guys Gab, and one of the biggest automotive enthusiast you'll ever meet. He's been fortunate enough to turn his passion for cars into a full-time job. Like they say, "If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life."