Android Auto premiers on Pioneer with CarPlay and MirrorLink

Android Auto PioneerCurrently, Android Auto is not available in any vehicle, you can buy off a dealer lot. You can however outfit your car with aftermarket Android Auto infotainment units from Pioneer Electronics the AVIC-8100NEX, AVIC-7100NEX, and AVH-4100NEX.

Pioneer claims to be among the first to offer Android Auto receivers. If you are not an all-Android family, the new Android Auto Pioneer NEX units also connect  iPhones to CarPlay and select Android smartphones with MirrorLink.

In order for Android Auto to work with the Pioneer compatible systems, you must have an Android phone with Android 5.0 Lollipop or later. You also have to download the Android Auto app from Google Play. Android phones with earlier operating systems won’t work. The smartphone connects via the USB cable that came with the phone or the  Pioneer CD-MU200 connectivity cable.

The Pioneer receivers connect to a microphone and car speakers with Google’s speech technology, allowing the driver to control the audio functions with voice commands. Google claims that you can get weather, traffic, commute information and more organized into simple cards. Compatible apps are expected to be Spotify  Whatsapp, Stitcher, TuneInRadio and iHeart Radio.

The Android units have 7 -inch touchscreens (capacitive on the AVIC-8100NEX and clear resistive on the AVIC-7100NEX and AVH-4100NEX), and include an external microphone for hands-free calling and voice.

Built-in features of these NEX models include:

  • HDMI Connectivity.
  • Wideband Speech & A2DP AAC Bluetooth Connectivity.
  • Apple CarPlay Compatibility.
  • MirrorLink Connectivity.
  • HD RadioTechnology.
  • iDataLink Maestro Technology.
  • Dual Zone Audio/Video Playback.

Pioneer AVIC-8100NEX($1,400 SRP) is selling for between 931-$951 on Amazon. It features GPS navigation, HD radio tuner, DVD player, Bluetooth, rear camera connections, Pandora control, MirrorLink, Dual Zone entertainment and CarPlay.

PIONEER AVIC-7000NEX ($1,200 SRP) is selling for $789.99 at Amazon. It features HD radio ready, AppRadio, Points of Interest, and more.

Pioneer AVH-4100NEX 2-DIN Multimedia DVD Receiver ($700 SRP) is in limited supply and is discounted to $640.63 an Amazon.

Installation fees for infotainment systems can such as the Best Buy advanced-in-car-system installation for $99 will cover most NEX systems or you can get estimates from local installation providers. Your dash must be able to accommodate a dual-din (2-din) unit.

Automakers that have committed to Android Auto are Hyundai, Audi, Volkswagen, Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Infiniti, Jeep, Kia, Mazda, Mistsubishi, RAM, Subaru, Suzuki, Chevrolet and Honda.

Aftermarket receiver-maker Kenwood/JVC is also introducing Android Auto models.

You can view in depth demo of Android Auto below.