Updated Pioneer Z-Series of touchscreen head units aim to provide the latest in-car phone connectivity for safer driving, prices from S$699
Pioneer Electronics today unveiled its latest range of aftermarket in-car multimedia receivers, otherwise known as head units. The five models launched are from the Pioneer’s Z-Series, which is the most advanced family of multimedia receivers that the brand offers.
In ascending order of superiority (and price), they are: the AVH-Z2250BT (S$699), the AVH-Z5250BT (S$999), the AVH-Z7250BT (S$1,099), the DMH-ZS8250BT (S$1,149), and the AVH-Z9250BT (S$1,199).
Designed with the core objectives of convenience, visibility and flexibility in mind, all the units are minimally able to sync up with users’ smartphones via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto (apart from the base AVH-2250BT, which is Apple CarPlay only), support the factory convenience and safety features in certain cars (integrating things like steering wheel controls and parking camera guide lines), and can play common file formats from a USB drive or external hard drive, including music files and “.mkv” or “.avi” video files.
Of particular interest though are the latter two units. The AVH-Z9250BT (above) is the flagship model, with a 7.0-inch capacitive touchscreen, wireless CarPlay capability (wireless Android Auto is currently unavailable outside of North America), and the ability to mirror your phone’s screen.
The other standout unit is the DMH-ZS8250BT (above). It’s the largest in-car entertainment unit Pioneer has come up with thus far, with a touchscreen spanning 8.0-inches across. It lacks the AVH-Z9250BT’s wireless capabilities, but has a different design that allows for more flexible installation options. For instance, it’s a direct fit into the dashboards of popular cars here like the Toyota Alphard and Vellfire, said Mr Danny Quek (below), Assistant Manager for product planning in Pioneer’s sales and marketing division.
Mr Quek also said in Singapore, the most popular units had been the predecessors for the mid-range AVH-Z5250BT and top-spec AVH-Z9250BT, and expects the trend to continue for the new lineup.
The sticky problem of irresponsible mobile phone usage has been around pretty much ever since the handphone was invented, and has only gotten worse with the advent of smartphones.
Thankfully, more and more car makers these days are building CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities into their cars, which is great because these systems offer a significantly safer way to access the convenience that a smartphone offers, in particular when it comes to navigation.
What Pioneer (and other aftermarket car audio brands) is doing is offering consumers access to this technology, even if their cars never came equipped with it in the first place. If this trend helps to make our roads safer by decreasing the amount of distracted drivers, then it’s certainly a change we can all get behind.