Redefining driving experiences with data

September 11, 2017 Kyle Walworth, GENIVI Alliance

In recent years, the amount of software found in modern connected vehicles has increased dramatically and a typical vehicle may have as many as 100 million lines of code in its systems. As in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems have gone from a luxury feature to more of standard offering for most vehicles, they have become critical elements for product differentiation.

The current generation of users, who are used to the fast paced consumer electronics market, have much higher expectations of connected experiences where their devices evolve throughout their ownership. It is no longer acceptable to release a new, "one size fits all" software update once a year. The same is true for IVI human-machine interface (HMI) included in today’s vehicles.

IVI has become a key enabler for new mobility solution business models. As we progress, industry experts are predicting the IVI HMI will become the the "fourth screen" for consumers – moving automotive manufacturers closer to becoming media or entertainment companies.  To make this transition, a flexible and rich developer tool kit is required.

IVI trends

As an embedded car modem is getting more common, cloud-based, rich content like real-time road information, proactive maintenance, and high definition streaming service will soon be possible. In the future, as more autonomous driving technologies arrive, users will have fewer driving duties; that means the role of the IVI expands and the top IVI trends below get stronger.

1. Large displays

By 2021, automotive displays 7.0-inches and larger are forecasted to reach 33.5 million units (Source: IHS). Automotive display sizes are growing quickly to help support multiple infotainment, safety and vehicle system functions that require more screen real estate to inform drivers and passengers.

2. Digital clusters

ECU consolidation is an emerging trend that allows multiple ECUs to be consolidated to into a single system on chip (SoC). Rapid innovation with emergence of high-end SoCs with powerful IP cores including graphics processing units (GPUs), digital signal processors (DSPs), hardware support for virtualization had led to adoption of automotive Domain Controller Units (DCUs).

3. Adding a third dimension (3D)

Real 3D is just emerging (vs perspective 3D effect only). Displays with 3D that looks real from all viewing angles are becoming part of the instrument clusters

4. Augmented reality (AR)

Augmented reality can be presented as any one of the following:

on a display (LCD, CID) using a camera image of the outside world: large field of view but small image not directly in line of sight

as an overlay to the “real world view” through the windshield via heads-up display (HUD) or projection: directly in line of sight but currently small projection area

5. Heads-up displays (HUD)

In the mid to high segments, HUDs will gain AR functionality. In the entry segment, affordable HUDs (incl. aftermarket variants) may complement the digital cluster (without the unique “floating in front of car” effect)

6. Electronic rear-view mirrors

More and more enterprises develop camera solutions to replace traditional rearview mirror. Thanks to progress in camera technology, falling costs, and less strict laws and regulations in some countries/regions, more and more parts producers and OEMs started developing camera solutions to replace conventional rearview mirror.

As IVI systems become more complex in order to keep up with evolving consumer demands, GENIVI standards and code have become critical requirements among automakers and their suppliers in selecting new IVI systems and software. 

Kyle Walworth is Vice President of Solutions and Strategy, Automotive for HARMAN Connected Services and Chairman of the Board for GENIVI Alliance.

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