The next generation of Ferrari supercars could offer a much-improved infotainment system, thanks to a new partnership with Harman.
Owned by Samsung, Harman recently announced Ready Upgrade, a hardware and software system that promises to deliver “fully upgradeable consumer electronics-level experiences into the cabin”. In other words, a next-generation infotainment system that will look and perform more like an iPad or smartphone than today’s dashboard touchscreens.
Announced at the CES technology show in early-January, Ready Upgrade is claimed to significantly reduce the time it takes for car makers to roll out infotainment upgrades, while also lowering costs. Harman also says upgrades can be rolled out throughout the lifetime of a vehicle – crucial for luxury cars like Ferraris, which are expected to still work many decades into the future.
The partnership with Ferrari is described as “multi-year, multi-faceted” and focused on “bringing the next generation of in-cabin experiences to market, today.” Harman says the partnership also extends to Ferrari’s Formula One team, with Harman Automotive now being the exclusive “In-Cabin Experience Team” partner.
Car technology featured heavily at CES 2023, and of particular interest was how car companies and technology firms are partnering to bring their respective expertise to vehicles. The show saw a new car brand announced by Sony Honda Mobility called Afeela, a new automotive platform from Qualcomm called Digital Chassis, and LG partnering with car assembly company Magna.
The current generation of Ferrari cars, including the Roma, SF90 and 296 GTB, feature a new infotainment system that relies heavily on touch-sensitive buttons. Their lack of a physical starter button and drive mode switch have been criticised by some road testers, along with the overly-sensitive touch controls for navigating their menu system.
It will be interesting to see if the partnership with Harman improves on these systems, or if an entirely new interface is on the cards.
Ferrari is expected to reveal its first fully-electric car in 2025, and its new Purosangue SUV is its first to offer a comprehensive infotainment display for the front-seat passenger. Harman Automotive’s technology will likely be used to underpin future generations of these systems.
Ferrari boss Benedetto Vigna said: “We look forward to working with Harman to extend our in-cabin experience advantage and deliver to our customers a drive like no other.”