At CES 2015, the French electronics manufacturer unveiled the Parrot RNB6 head unit, which runs Android 5.0 Lollipop, but supports both the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring protocols.
The double-DIN head unit features a 7.0-inch high resolution touchscreen. Parrot claims that the RNB6 is twice as thin and half the weight of regular double-DIN touchscreen stereo systems.
Despite that, the RNB6 features plenty of plenty jacks out the back, including an Ethernet network port, an OBD-II socket, two HDMI ports, AV in/out, and two USB jacks, as well as antenna ports for AM, FM and digital radio. The RNB6 will ship as standard with a dashboard camera.
The RNB6 runs a version of the Android 5.0 Lollipop mobile operating system, which has been modified to sport large on-screen buttons.
Features available natively through the system include music access, hands-free and on-screen telephone connectivity, satellite navigation, voice control, viewing on-board diagnostics data, and audio equaliser.
The system also supports smartphone mirroring via both the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay protocols, which allow select third-party apps and built-in functionality to be accessed via a touchscreen or through voice recognition.
A number of automakers have committed to introducing entertainment systems that are compatible with either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, and some manufacturers will have systems that work with both smartphone OS’ mirroring tech.
Last year Pioneer unveiled its latest AVIC range, which features models that support CarPlay. The Parrot RNB6 is the first third-party system that can work with both Android Auto and CarPlay.
Parrot representatives were coy about release dates. One told us that the RNB6 system will debut “some time in 2015”, while another said that it would go on sale, at least in the US, “by the end of 2015”.