News Release:Pioneer Releases New Connected Virtual Driving Partner NP1

Information contained in the news release is current as of the date of announcement.
It is subject to change without prior notice.

February 10, 2022
Pioneer Corporation

Pioneer Releases New Connected Virtual Driving Partner NP1

Pioneer will launch its conversational driving partner NP1 which innovates the driving environment through "voice" and "communication" on March 2 in Japan. The Pioneer NP1 introduces the world to a new type of connected device powered by a driving personal voice AI.

In recent years, in-vehicle technology has advanced remarkably, significantly increasing the amount of valuable information available to the driver. However, accessing this information often requires the driver's "eyes" and "hands", simultaneously adding to the attention required to operate the vehicle and resulting in a source of stress while driving. As such, in an effort to reduce this burden and facilitate safe, secure, and comfortable driving, Pioneer has been developing Piomatix, a mobility AI platform that analyzes the status of driver and vehicle geolocation to provide predictive, right timed, conversational voice driving support and navigation guidance.

NP1 is the first product to adopt this newly developed mobility AI platform and can be operated entirely via voice. Utilizing an always on wireless network connection, NP1 provides lane-by-lane route guidance and information via voice always based on the latest map data and real-time environmental conditions. Through Pioneer's partnership with Cerence Inc., NP1 features a natural conversational speech recognition engine combined with the Piomatix personalized voice AI to provide car-optimized voice communication.

Designed to be mounted easily and discretely on the vehicle windshield, the NP1 is optimized with a small, lightweight body, an integrated front/rear camera, microphone/speaker system, cloud based recorded video storage, and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality all controlled via voice.

Existing features can be updated and additional features may be added in the future over the air (OTA) updates to keep the device up-to-date and increasingly personalized as it learns the driving style and preferences of the user.

Pioneer's NP1 is constantly evolving, staying one step ahead and providing a new personalized mobility experience.

Product site (in Japanese only)

NP1 concept video

Main Features

(1) Voice-based Smart Navigation

  • A variety of types of information, such as destinations and nearby facilities, can be searched simply by asking to the device, while route information and search results are likewise provided via voice. Drivers receive easy to understand guidance allowing the driver to focus their attention on driving.
  • By utilizing Cerence's natural, conversational speech recognition engine and automatically stored information such as frequently visited places, route searches and destination setting are both simple and intuitive.
  • Route guidance includes road specific optimization such as lane position and next turn directional instruction conveyed in simple voice guidance using easily recognized indicators such as landmarks, traffic signals, and stop signs.

(2) Cloud-based Dash Cam

Equipped with two cameras, one for the front and one for the interior and rear, recorded video footage is stored to a local flash memory SD card during normal operation. When the NP1 detects collision or when instructed to do so by user's voice command, recorded video is also automatically uploaded to cloud based storage. Stored recordings can easily be checked, reviewed, and saved to the user's smartphone. Additional camera based functions of the NP1 are the ability to detect and record impacts when the vehicle is parked, a function that lets you photograph and record driving memories such as beautiful scenery and/or what's happening inside the car, and an alert function that notifies the driver when a rear vehicle is following too closely behind you.

(3) In-Vehicle Wi-Fi

The Wi-Fi hotspot function can provide LTE data communication network internet connectivity to personal devices inside the vehicle via the in-vehicle internet connection service docomo in Car Connect®,*1 (separate subscription required) with unlimited LTE data plan. Up to five smartphones and tablets can be connected, allowing users to enjoy various content such as streaming videos, music, and playing online games comfortably inside your car.

*1 This service is applied only within domestic market in Japan.

(4) Car Life ++ enables you to update and add new services through OTA

The function provides the latest in car life with updated information and new functions. At launch timing, NP1 features a new drive communication tool called Drive Call and a Drive Topic function that delivers information for more enjoyable driving. Additional features including Alexa Built-in will be added to NP1 (scheduled for Spring 2022) and existing features will be continuously updated after purchase, providing the latest map information and driving support functions.

The Drive Call function*2

You can share real-time information by using the NP1 camera and microphone to make a Drive Call stream to your friends and family, direct their smartphone. Drive Call lets you talk directly by voice while simultaneously sharing the view from the front or rear camera video feeds. For example, if you are lost, you can get directions from family and friends as if they were in the vehicle with you.

*2 Pre-registration of Drive Call recipients is required. Connection with NP1 and your iPhone or smartphone via Bluetooth is necessary. Up to 5 recipients can be registered.

The Drive Topic function

By combining information real-time, vehicle location, maps, and sensor data, users can be guided to new and interesting areas. Drive Topics keeps even a daily commute fresh and exciting, reducing boredom on the road to provide a more enjoyable drive.

Alexa Built-in*3 to be added via OTA update to NP1

With Alexa Built-in to NP1, you can play music, hear the news, check weather, control smart home devices, and more—all hands-free. Just ask and Alexa will respond instantly. Alexa lives in the cloud and is always getting smarter, adding new capabilities that are delivered to your device automatically.

*3 Connection with NP1 and your iPhone or smartphone via Bluetooth is necessary.
Registration of the device with the user's Amazon account is required. Separate registration may be required to use the service.

(5) Smartphone Application My NP1

A dedicated smartphone application for more convenient use of NP1, such as recommended usage, information on new functions, destination searches in advance, confirmation on recorded videos, and device settings.

Mobility AI Platform Piomatix

Piomatix is Pioneer's unique mobility AI platform that combines multiple AI technologies and voice interfaces to create new driving experiences optimized in-vehicle use. Based on various sensor data, Piomatix is a mobility AI platform that analyzes the status of the driver and vehicle geolocation to provide predicted, right timed, conversational voice driving support and navigation guidance.

The mobility AI platform provides personalized information suited to each individual by constantly learning individual circumstances, including driver preferences and driving conditions, which is then combining them with past information. In addition to estimating optimal content based on already present in the cloud, edge devices such as NP1 are used when instant judgment is required. By combining edge devices which can handle blazingly fast processing with the enormous power of the cloud, new and convenient services can be identified and developed.

Going forward, Pioneer will leverage this platform as an open platform, to develop solutions not only for consumers but also for businesses, while strengthening alliances with partners. Together, we will create new and exciting services and deliver a rich car life and UX (user experiences) to a wide range of customers.

「Piomatix」Web page

Main Specification

●Camera Front Inside/Rear
Effective pixels
Approx. 2.0 million pixels
/1920 × 1080P (Full HD)
Approx. 2.0 million pixels
/1920 × 1080P (Full HD)
Recording Angle 130°horizontal / 68°vertical
/ 159°diagonal
124°horizontal / 65°vertical
/ 151°diagonal
Lens F-number F2.0 F2.0
Frame Rate 27.0 fps 16.0 fps
Sensor SONY CMOS sensor with STARVIS™ SONY CMOS sensor with STARVIS™
Dimensions 118 mm(W) × 36 mm(H) × 93 mm(D)
Weight 300 g (without accessary)
Power Supply Voltage 12 V/24 V cigarette lighter power cable included
Max. current consumption 2.8 A
MicroSD card (included) 32 GB
Recording Medium microSDHC/microSDXC card class10 (8 GB to 512 GB)
Recording Method Video Recording/Event Recording*/Manual Event Recording*
/Parking Monitoring Recording*
*Saving in SD card and automatic storing in Cloud
Parking Monitoring Optional Feature
(Power cable NP-BD001 for Parking Monitoring is required.)
Motion Sensor 6-axis motion sensor
LTE LTE Band: Band1, Band3, Band19
Transmission Speed: Max download speed 150 Mbps (best effort type)
Max upload speed 50 Mbps (best effort type)
SIM nanoSIM (for ‘docomo in Car Connect’ also)
Wi-Fi Hotspot: IEEE802.11 b/g/n (2.4 GHz) / Station / P2P
(maximum concurrent connections: 5)
Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth5.1
* Piomatix and Piomatix logo are trademarks of Pioneer Corporation.
* YouTube is a trademark of Google LLC.
* Wi-Fi is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance.
* docomo in Car Connect is a registered trademark of NTT DOCOMO, Inc.
* iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
* Bluetooth is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc. in the U.S.
* STARVIS is a trademark of Sony Corporation.
* All other trademarks belong to their respective owners.

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