Sister companies JVC and Kenwood are demonstrating their latest Android Auto car infotainment systems at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. JVC is showcasing two solutions - the KW-V940BW equipped with a DVD player, and the KW-M845BW that's advertised as “mech-less” because it lacks playback capabilities through mechanical mediums. On the other hand, Kenwood has introduced three solutions including the DVD-enabled DX995S featuring on-board navigation by Garmin along with an alternative lacking navigation called the DDX9905, and the mech-less DMX905S equipped with a larger display. All of these infotainment systems are compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and through the WebLink platform, every one of these solutions offers drivers access to applications such as Waze, YouTube, and Yelp.
Starting off with JVC’s lineup, both infotainment systems are equipped with a 6.8-inch display that can be digitally adjusted to deliver improved viewing angles. The panels also offer touch controls and the ability to adjust the volume and skip tracks by swiping the screen. When combined with the JVC Remote smartphone application, users can control either one of these solutions remotely and change their sound settings, sources, and other specifications. Up to five people can also connect to the systems and stream music through their smartphones using the JVC Streaming DJ service. Lastly, both the KW-V940BW and KW-M845BW offer Bluetooth connectivity allowing two smartphones to connect simultaneously, and have a built-in input mechanism for rear vehicle cameras. The DVD-enabled JVC KW-V940BW will launch with a price tag of $699.95, whereas the mech-less KW-M845BW will be available for $599.95.
Meanwhile, Kenwood is launching three new solutions with prices ranging from $850 to $1,500. The top of the range is the DX995S featuring DVD playback and a 6.8-inch display, along with on-board navigation provided by Garmin. There’s also the DDX9905 which offers the same characteristics sans navigation and will retail for $1,100. Lastly, the $850 DMX905S is a mech-less alternative without on-board navigation, and because it lacks DVD innards, it can accommodate a slightly larger 6.95-inch SD display. They are all compatible with Android Auto offering access to the Google Assistant and can connect to the platform wirelessly. The Kenwood WebLink smartphone application expands the infotainment systems’ capabilities with a library of third-party apps that's continuously expanding. All new models are equipped with two inputs for rear cameras as well as a proprietary DRV-N520 high-resolution dash camera and safety system able to record incidents based on user preferences. According to Kenwood, the three solutions were designed as a standalone upgrade to existing audio systems and can connect to either two sets of speakers with internal amplification, or act as a central hub for amplifiers, subwoofers, and the like. Both JVC and Kenwood are currently showcasing their latest solutions at CES 2018 and will begin retailing them in the coming months.