We're up to Pioneer now and with the company having sadly dumped its revolutionary Kuro HDTVs last year we were curious to see what it would come up with for 2010.
In-dash navigation is a major focus for Pioneer now, with it claiming a global lead in the sector and a new flagship unit in the form of the 'AVIC-X920BT'. The model takes the concept of integrated GPS and media to its extreme with an overhauled finger friendly, touchscreen interface, voice control and even eco advice.
Multimedia is boosted via Bluetooth and microSD connectivity while 'MusicSphere' technology works with iPods and iPhones to automatically create playlists based on musical characteristics to save users the hassle of trying to shuffle through 100s of albums or 1000s of songs while driving. That said, iTunes can create these kinds of playlists already so the primary benefit of MusicSphere seems to be making them on-demand. US users will also get Pandora streaming functionality, but sadly this superb service remains priced out of the UK.
A final cherry on top is 'ECO Driving' which uses the GPS to estimate the fuel cost of trip routes as well as the vehicle's CO2 emissions. Over time the unit builds up a detailed data archive and can suggest routes based on speed, energy and fuel consumption, though I suspect a large part of this will be slow down!
Other than this Pioneer was disappointingly quiet. There was talk of in-car speakers and CD car radios, but the company steered completely clear of its home cinema equipment - which is what really gets our juices flowing.
I miss those Kuros...