The world of auto development moves at a blistering pace. It has to, as OEMs fight to retain customer loyalty while attracting all-new business. This means every element of vehicular design represents an opportunity for auto makers to stand out from their rivals. Nowhere is this more true than with infotainment (IVI) systems, which are becoming increasingly important to consumers.
Each year sees the announcement of fresh IVI offerings with new functionality and services to address every need (and occasional whim) of drivers. To deliver such innovation, auto makers turn to specialists like NNG to conceptualize, create and rollout map data-based solutions cost-efficiently and at speed.
We service our client requests via three defined stages to ensure each and every solution is a success before it is delivered to drivers:
1. Prototyping: Defining Innovation
This is our product discovery phase where the client – typically a premium OEM – wishes to either solve an engineering problem, create a software designing process, or support a vision, use case, or hypothesis that requires initial validation. Such an approach is essential for removing risk while creating a business case for securing a green-light and investment from the board.
However, as clients often do not have the knowledge or skill sets required inhouse, they regularly turn to NNG to explore a concept’s validity. For instance, we have fielded queries about introducing EV charging station POI lists into navigation routing logic. We’ve also been asked to address key autonomous driving issues; for instance, when a car in front of the driver’s vehicle brakes, how should the driver’s car react to it?
No matter the challenge, NNG has demonstrated time and again that it can meet any prototype request as these case studies illustrate:
Addressing ISA’s RAM demands
With the introduction of the EU’s Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) regulation, NNG received several OEM inquiries regarding use cases for cars that don’t have embedded navigation software – but still needed to meet the ISA’s requirements. Auto makers’ chief concerns focused on RAM capacity and the RAM traffic generated by downloading an entire navigation software solution (including all map data) and the associated (prohibitively high) data costs to the OEM.
To allay their concerns, auto makers needed to see a solution that would significantly reduce data costs. It led to NNG proposing an innovative use of map-path and tile streaming, which allows route-based contextual map data to be streamed on-demand as and when requested by the driver. This negates the need for storing and transmitting large pre-installed maps, which in turn cuts consumption costs for OEMs by up to 90%.
Winning global tenders
To provide the optimum navigation solution for its customers, a leading OEM wanted to include the services of two competing global map content providers within a single offering; This was a highly unusual request as each map provider typically requests exclusivity, forbidding the integration of its services with those of another provider.
However, in this case, an exception was made. Both providers agreed to collaborate so they would be in the best possible position to win the significant global tender. This enabled NNG to integrate traffic service from one provider with map data of another provider within a single solution, leading to a successful tender outcome.
2. Requests: Bringing It Home
To deliver a truly flexible but structured service, NNG offers different solution visualization and delivery options, triggered by three types of official client request:
RFI (Request for Information)
This is a preliminary, often high-level document sent to NNG to assess our delivery capabilities. The extensive document typically describes the client’s high-level business and technical specifications as well as constraints and projected timelines for delivery and ongoing support requirements.
RFP (Request for Proposal)
If the RFI’s outcome is successful, the client sends an RFP document, which includes its proposal with basic requirements detailed, such as markets, coverage, and functionality, plus an overview of expected terms and conditions. Based on this document, we produce a high-fidelity prototype. This is typically a product dummy workflow developed in Adobe XD, the prototyping platform. The dummy enables the client to ascertain the proposed product’s functionality and UX before moving to the technical demo phase.
RFQ (Request for Quotation)
A technical demo is commissioned, supported by an in-depth client doc covering all aspects of the proposed solution’s creation from scope of supply and services to contractual obligations. If the demo is successful, the requested service is signed off by the client and goes into production with NNG supporting the OEM during the manufacturing process.
3. Aftermarket: Meeting Last Minute Demands
The other end of the development story is NNG’s Aftermarket business solution service. It caters to clients requiring a solution that can be put into production in under a month. As there is no time for customization, this means offering limited changes to a pre-existing solution, i.e., branding.
These last-minute engagements are usually only delivered in small quantities (up to 200 units). In such cases, we offer our reference application that lists suitable off-the-shelf products that do not require customization and can be rolled out at speed.
NNG: Your partner for every stage of IVI development
Key to NNG’s ongoing success is not only our ability to meet the needs of our clients – but creating partnerships with them. We believe working together as partners creates the ideal environment for innovation to thrive.
Such a collaborative approach also ensures we work with our clients in lockstep, creating solutions that meet and often exceed expectations. And that’s crucial to delivering the next generation in infotainment, continually enhancing the IVI-based services offered to consumers – as well as boosting the safety and efficiency of vehicles now and in the future.