Rapid digitalization and advanced analytics are driving changes in the automotive industry. Tech-savvy millennials; anytime, anywhere connectivity; provision for in-vehicle Wi-Fi; and demand for entertainment on the move are prompting carmakers to integrate advanced infotainment in cars. According to the PWC forecast, the market for connected technologies for vehicles will triple by 2021 to reach €122.6 billion.

An increasing percentage of customers (from 20 percent in 2014 to 37 percent in 2015) are willing to change their car brand for better connectivity.[1] However, the fact is, too many electronics in the vehicle can significantly increase driver distraction and information overload. To minimize disturbance, it is important to implement self-learning and interactive systems to build more intelligent systems in-vehicle.

Some of the technologies that will become widespread in the coming years:

Ethernet in cars — By 2020, on average a mass market segment car will have 50-60 Ethernet ports.[2] These ports will help in moving information within the car at gigabytes of speed. High-speed information transfer inside the car will increase car connectivity.

High-end infotainment such as camera-assisted parking with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), collision avoidance systems, pedestrian recognition, and traffic light recognition need a higher bandwidth, greater than 100 Mbps.[3] This will also improve the efficiency of other infotainments such as automatic braking system, and backup cameras.

More responsive UX — In-vehicle infotainment and console systems will be designed keeping in mind the needs of the customers, such as an intuitive HMI/GUI, over the air updates, seamless integration of apps in an IVI system, and a responsive proximity screen; the needs of the OEMs or suppliers to minimize driver distraction and maximize safety.

Intelligent Driver Information System (IDIS) — IDIS is an innovative feature developed a Swedish luxury vehicle manufacturing company. It helps prioritize information reaching the driver based on the momentary situation of the driver. The idea is to minimize distraction while the driver is busy maneuvering a difficult situation. The feature, however, does not block or delay critical information from reaching the driver.[4]

Seamless connectivity —Future cars will be connected to everything around them and interacting to make intelligent decisions. This seamless connectivity will be established through 4G/LTE inbuilt modems, Wi-Fi hotspots, and interactive human-machine interfaces such as the capacitive proximity sensor.

As Margarete Wies, Vice President Advanced UX Design at Mercedes-Benz said during her interview with Fatima Vittal at the Nuance Automotive Innovation Day, “Personalized user experience design, machine learning, artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles will play important roles in building the connected car of the future.”[5]

By judiciously leveraging advanced infotainments, carmakers can build connected cars that are safe and secure, while improving user experience at the same time.

[1] https://goo.gl/RJ0VLc

[2] http://www.frost.com/prod/servlet/press-release.pag?docid=281841015

[3] http://www.frost.com/prod/servlet/press-release.pag?docid=281841015

[4] http://www.autoalliance.org/index.cfm?objectid=9B52CB20-26D9-11E3-8898000C296BA163

[5] http://whatsnext.nuance.com/connected-living/mercedes-future-mobility-margarete-wies-discusses-auto-ux-design-innovation/

Written by Thomas Kramer

on 02 Jan 2017

Thomas Kramer is our Head of Electronics and Software Development at QuEST Germany. He has over 21 years of international experience in the automotive field. He started his career back in 1994 at a Japanese automotive major. During this tenure of 11 years here, he collected a wide range of experiences on various products and gained significant multicultural skills. He was in charge of all German OEMs and related suppliers. In 2005 Thomas moved over to an US based automotive major, taking charge of navigation map data for an advanced German OEM. Prior to joining QuEST, Thomas worked with another Japanese automotive major as Business Manager for their German activities. Thomas holds a diploma in electrical engineering.