The car stereo has come a long way in the last few years. Vehicle manufacturers started adding vehicle functions to their head units to make interfacing the vehicle safer. If all the functions are in one area, a person can get comfortable with the onboard electronics more quickly. It also reduces the learning curve needed to understand the interface itself.

The problem is that most of these stock units are not designed or manufactured for the high-quality entertainment some people are addicted to. Pioneer has an answer to the problem in the form of its Premier AVIC-N1. This unit offers navigation, vehicle dynamic input, audio, and video. Yet the most incredible part is that it 's all squeezed into a single-DIN head unit. You'd think the AVIC's interface must be a nightmare with all these abilities. The software in the AVIC is a multilayered system, and the 6-1/2-inch touchscreen gives plenty of work area to interact with. The naming conventions assigned to the digital buttons make the software user-friendly and the multilayered software a breeze to go through.

The single-DIN head unit is equipped with a multipurpose disk reader. This player can play CD, DVD, MP3, some data, and so on. As gearheads, we think the greatest function on the AVIC is its vehicle dynamics capability. The AVIC-N1 uses a hide-away breakout box that helps the single-DIN head unit provide a multitude of functionality. This hide-away box has connections for most of the optional components, but it has one feature that just draws us to it: an accelerometer built into it. Yes, that's right, it measures g-force. It also connects to the Reverse signal from the vehicle, so the navigational system knows which end of the truck is facing the direction of forward movement, thus the backup camera can be activated when the vehicle is put in Reverse. Additionally, it taps into the vehicle's speed pulse wire. With the GPS and the speed pulse signal, the AVIC-N1 can calibrate the true speed. Plus, the head unit can estimate your global position in areas where a GPS signal is not obtainable.

Pioneer's AVIC-N1 is truly the cutting-edge of performance in the automotive entertainment department. We installed the unit on an '01 GMC truck. Here's how it went in and how we got the AVIC-N1 to recognize the truck's input nodes. Keep your eyes peeled for the AVIC-N2, which will give you live updated traffic conditions, and the AVG-VDPI, which is a performance model that will figure horsepower and torque for the performance tuner.

SOURCE
Pioneer Electronics