2015 CES, and the Connectivity Path to Autonomous Cars
February 1, 2015

The vehicle is very important, because—unlike some other smaller autonomous concepts—it brings the notion of luxury to a transportation appliance. This, in turn, will create huge opportunities for aftermarket personalization.

Clarion Joins OAA
July 1, 2014

Now that Apple has come through with CarPlay and we have seen the first salvo of aftermarket manufacturers hooking up with the Cupertino folks, the aftermarket is also making its foray into Android territory.  Clarion announced today that the company has become a member of the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA).

Petra Plans 12th Car Audio Expo
March 3, 2014

Petra Industries will host its 12th Annual Car Audio eXpo this April, the distributor announced over the weekend. It will take place at Petra's headquarters in Edmond, Okla. 

12-Volt: Audi, Androids and You
January 29, 2014

At CES, Audi unveiled technology to connect to Google’s Android platform.  Although the integration may be the first for an OEM, the aftermarket still beats automakers to the punch when you look at products such as Pioneer’s AppRadio or Clarion’s Smart Access.  The buying demographic for replacement head units still skews way under 35 years old.  These are the same type of people who typically do not have the discretionary income to drop on a new Audi A7 (although it would be nice).  Our only hurdle is showing the possibilities in the aftermarket.  A 2008 Honda Accord owner does not need to throw out the baby with the bathwater to get top-tier integration. 

As Audi was one of the leading technology partners of CES, they also released unreal technology called Audi Piloted Driving.  Think of it as not the car that parks itself, but YOU get to instruct it, using your smartphone.  You step out of the car and use your smartphone to guide it into a tight space.  In the aftermarket, we are just a few radar sensors and actuators away to make this work in today’s vehicles.  But man, the implications are rough.  Remember when the installer just grounded the parking brake signal on the Viper remote start on the manual transmission car and it launched itself into the side of the bay?  Think about installing some of these technologies in the aftermarket and skipping a few sensors.   

Clarion's New Silicon Valley Digs
May 29, 2013

Clarion made big strides towards the world of apps in its aftermarket head units and media controllers with the creation of Smart Access. It is a cloud-based app system specifically designed for the vehicle. Or a better way to put it is get the stuff you want in your ride without needing a ton of devices and software.

Clarion's parent company Hitachi is a serious technology conglomerate. So it comes as no big surprise that the Clarion company established some new digs in Silicon Valley to get the haps on the latest apps.

Petra Ships Spring 2013 Catalog
May 17, 2013

Petra Industries this week shipped its Spring 2013 Catalog. The catalog is 1,200 pages, featuring 20,000 products from 500 manufacturers. The catalog features 3,800 new products and over 1,200 price drops. 

It's Boating Season! The Latest from Clarion Marine
May 5, 2013

In recent years, most of the major 12 Volt manufacturers have separated their marine offerings from their current models. Which is a good thing. Engineering poured into the rigors of surviving the salt water environment is always welcome.  Also welcome is the forethought into wired remote controls and wireless controllers that let mariners crank their tunes with ease. For example, if you are in the cockpit (yeah- it doesn't make sense to me either but the cockpit of the boat is where the guys on Wicked Tuna reel in the fish) and the head unit

Petra Hosts Car Audio eXpo
April 25, 2013

Distributor Petra industries hosted its 11th Annual Car Audio eXpo on Sunday, April 21st in Edmond, Okla. 26 manufacturers demonstrated products including Boss, Clarion, Cobra, Directed Electronics, Dual, Magellan, Parrot, Pioneer, Scosche, SiriusSX, Wilson and more.