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Porsche Unveils its 6th Generation Infotainment System with Android Auto & Voice Support

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【Summary】Automaker Porsche on Friday unveiled the 6th generation of its infotainment system called Porsche Communication Management (PCM) 6.0, which comes with a host of new features, including support for Android Auto and natural language voice commands.

FutureCar Staff    Jun 18, 2021 10:10 AM PT
Porsche Unveils its 6th Generation Infotainment System with Android Auto & Voice Support

Today's new connected vehicles are becoming an extension of our digital lives, with access to popular Apple and Android apps and streaming services right from a vehicle's infotainment screen.

Automaker Porsche on Friday unveiled the 6th generation of its infotainment system called Porsche Communication Management (PCM) 6.0, which comes with a host of new features, including support for Android Auto for the first time in a Porsche vehicle. 

With the integration of Android Auto in PCM 6.0, the Google Android operating system can be integrated into the infotainment system of Porsche models.  

For Android device users, the connection to their phone is made as soon as it's connected to the vehicle via a USB cable. Once the phone is plugged in, access to all of the phone functions and Android apps that do not impair driving safety can be accessed right from the infotainment screen automatically.

Other improvements include Apple Music and Podcasts built-in. Porsche is offering a free, 3-year connection to Apple Music and Podcasts. Drivers with an Apple Music account will have access to a library of over 75 million songs and curated playlists right from the vehicle's infotainment screen. 

Customers just need to link their Apple ID to their vehicle using the Porsche Connect app for access to their Apple Music and Podcasts libraries.

"We have succeeded in combining the classic radio experience with the modern streaming experience," says Martin Bayer, Manager Navigation and Infotainment at Porsche AG. It is not just about listening to audio content, but rather the in-depth integration of Apple Music and Apple Podcasts built into the Porsche infotainment system.

With Apple Music built-in, a driver can add a song that's playing on the radio to their Apple Music library. In addition, if the driver likes a particular artist's song that's playing, they can switch to a custom Apple Music station that will only play that artist's music.

The navigation system also gets an upgraded processor that calculates faster and displays information and maps more clearly. It takes in account real-time traffic information. Porsche also improved the overall look of its maps used for navigation to make them easier to read while navigating.

Using real-time traffic data, the roads are shown in different colours depending on the traffic situation. The route monitor allows quick access to all the relevant information, and traffic jams and waypoints along the route are clearly shown. The Porsche navigation system also shows traffic information for individual lanes, which is another helpful feature.

Like many new vehicle infotainment systems, PCM 6.0 supports over the air updates, ensuring that Porsche customers always have the latest software installed in their vehicles. 

Among the OTA software updates that might be offered in the future is adaptive sound, Porsche said. The new Soundtrack My Life app from Porsche Digital, which is currently still at the beta version stage, will launch with the world's first adaptive sound function. 

The feature creates a personalized soundtrack in real-time depending on the environment and driving style. A spirited drive through country roads will generate a different soundtrack than a drive through the city. 

The Soundtrack My Life feature was inspired by the background music of computer games, where the soundtrack dynamically changes depending on the situation. The soundtrack will also be available outside of the vehicle after a drive by streaming from the smartphone app.

Natural Language Voice Support

Perhaps the most useful feature of PCM 6.0 is natural language voice support called "Voice Pilot Assist", which listens better. Drivers can use their voice to control many of the vehicle's functions. The system is activated by saying the wake words "Hey Porsche" and helps a driver to keep their eyes on the road. 

For example, if a driver says "I need gas" the navigation system will find a route to the nearest gas station. Similarly, saying "I am cold" automatically increases the vehicle's interior temperature. 

Other creature comforts in Porsche vehicles like massaging seats and ambient lighting can also be controlled with voice commands. Porsche's Voice Pilot Assist is cloud-based and continually learns new phrases using machine learning to get smarter over time to better respond to a driver's particular needs.

The sixth generation of Porsche Communication Management (PCM) launches in the Porsche 911, Cayenne and Panamera models this summer.


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