Monday, July 5, 2010

In-Vehicle Infotainment touched by Teleca -July 5th

By Dr. Roger Hampel

As the automotive industry is recovering from one of its worst crises ever, also the suppliers of automotive electronics and multi-media software are regaining strength.

For suppliers of in-vehicle infotainment systems, however, the world has changed dramatically over the last 3 years. Typical head unit functions like navigation or media player have become standard applications on Smartphones, thus consumers are no longer willing to pay a huge premium for built-in infotainment systems that are already outdated at the time they hit the market and which cannot be updated with new functionality in the field.

Leveraging smartphone platform ecosystems drives time to market
To bridge this gap, the automotive infotainment industry has started to embrace smartphone platforms. The GENIVI alliance of automotive OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers and service companies is developing an open source Linux based infotainment SW platform. The first platform release was based on Intel’s Moblin stack and it is anticipated that future platform releases will be based on the MeeGo platform, see Andrew Till’s blog entry from February 18th).
Google’s Android platform has also made its way into the automotive infotainment arena, e.g. in Continental’s AutoLinQ system. Furthermore, the recently announced acquisition of QNX, provider of OS and Middleware for automotive telematics, by Smartphone manufacturer RIM can be interpreted as a move to close this gap from the other end and Microsoft’s Auto platform is based on Windows Embedded CE

Cars go smart(phone)
Consumers will be able to experience connected services in the car such as downloading and installing apps from an application store, consuming audio and video stored locally and amended by online data such as album art or streaming online media. Media can be transferred seamlessly between the home network, smartphone and the IVI system. Car diagnostics such as battery level for electric vehicles, fuel gauge, door/window lock status can be accessed via Internet from any PC or the mobile phone. Actuators in the car can be triggered remotely, e.g. unlocking the car, closing the windows, activating stolen vehicle tracking. Emergency calls are automatically initiated by a triggering airbag.

The adoption of smartphone platforms for in-vehicle infotainment goes along with the change from device centric scope to ecosystem scope. Leveraging the ecosystem around open source platforms such as Android and GENIVI allows the providers of IVI systems to offer product development based on a sustainable roadmap for software platform evolution while reducing overall cost of ownership.

We are engaged
Teleca is a member of both the Open Handset Alliance governing the Android platform and the GENIVI alliance driving the development of the GENIVI platform. Moreover, we have been a Microsoft Gold Systems Integration Partner since 2002.

Expect breathtaking IVI systems to hit the market that have been touched by Teleca!