By Andrew Till
Last week I attended the Telematics Update Detroit event focused on the latest developments and trends in the automotive market. It was a great place to take the pulse of the market and to see just how quickly the automotive market is now evolving. Here are a few of my key highlights and takeaways from the event:
• The pace of change is accelerating rapidly as the industry moves from talking about connected services to implementing them.
• The Human Machine Interface (HMI) challenge is significant and will probably be the biggest challenge for companies bring next generation IVI systems to market. The challenge of delivering a wide range of services without overly complicating the user experience is far from trivial.
• Bringing applications in to the in car environment will be a major challenge if driver distraction is to be avoided. Expect controlled / managed “wall gardens” for application deployment certainly to the main in-dash display.
• The OS landscape will continue to evolve rapidly with GenIVI, the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and Windows Auto 7 all seeking to challenge QNX. However it’s clear QNX has no intent of surrendering it’s market lead and is aggressively driving forward with the development of its OS and the implementation of many new innovations (The next generation experience being demonstrated in a very nice Corvette clearly shows that QNX is not being complacent).
• Advances in processor technology and the ability to support multiple independent displays will drive a whole new set, of as yet undefined, services in the car.
• While Infotainment is important the traditional telematics solutions for Driver Assistance remain highly important for consumers and amongst the most desired feature – certainly according to data presented in the opening keynote by GartnerGroup.
• On-Board navigation solutions are likely to experience a revival, if price points can be managed down, if they are fully integrated with other services within the car.
• Expect cloud services to also play a key role moving forwards as they will provide a bridge between in car and out of car experiences for consumers.
It was certainly an exciting show and one appears the rapid changes taking place in the industry. It’s not just the technology that is changing but also the development cycles and the structure of the value chain in order to enable greater innovation and faster times to market (for example QNX highlighted an IVI development that had taken little over a year from start to final delivery). With most of the discussion being about model years 2013 and 2014 it certainly appears that within the next 3-4 years the vast majority of cars will be enabled with both connectivity and advanced entertainment options.
So aside from keeping my children happy this should present a compelling and new market opportunity for application and content vendors to further expand their addressable market as well as ISV who will find new opportunities to leverage developments from other industries in to the automotive market especially as the market starts to embrace the concept of rear screens supporting live connected services that are independent from the main in-dash display.