The role of in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) has been steadily evolving over nearly 100 years. From the arrival of in-car AM radios in 1930s up to the rudimentary multimedia touchscreens of the 2000s, today drivers now enjoy HD screen-based systems that feature superior HMI design coupled with rich functionality and deep connectivity.
However, the next generation of infotainment promises to transcend even these offerings. IVI innovators like NNG already provide cloud-based on-demand services that deliver outstanding user experiences – but are now helping auto makers to evolve two key areas crucial to vehicle operation: Safety and efficiency.
To increase safety on our roads, several new initiatives have been introduced. However, to succeed – and be cost effective for OEMs – they require the map data and efficiency only offered by cloud-based next-gen IVIs:
The EU Commission’s Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) system is designed to enforce speed limits on EU roads by using a mixture of temporary in-car speed limiting combined with visual and haptic warnings. However, serious questions remain about how to track speed limits accurately in-car so the ISA’s mandatory accuracy target of 90% can be met by auto makers.
Sign-recognition cameras mounted to the vehicle are not an optimum solution as their accuracy levels are under 70%. This lack of accuracy is compounded further by the limited signage in Europe – only around 55% of speed limits are explicitly posted – with weather and vehicles obscuring signs, variable speed limits and more adding further obstacles.
It’s why OEMs are increasingly turning to cloud-based solutions that fuse map and camera data, allowing them to address any camera shortcoming via an auto-updated map database to meet the ISA’s 90% target. Crucially, OEMs can introduce a map/camera solution without additional development, infrastructure or maintenance as these are all managed by the map database provider. The right solution also reduces the high costs associated with map storage and cellular data usage by up to 90% through the smart deployment of contextual map-path and tile-only streaming.
The independent vehicle safety organization Euro NCAP puts speed assistance systems through intensive testing to ascertain their real-world effectiveness. This means without an ISA solution offering over 90% accuracy, auto makers are unable to achieve a five-star NCAP score.
Within such a competitive marketplace, a reduced NCAP score can be a disadvantage for OEMs, suggesting a potential safety issue in the minds of consumers that can cause reputational damage. Deploying a cloud-based platform that fuses camera and map data will ensure an OEM achieves the highest possible score for its ISA solution, increasing its competitiveness while protecting its brand.
Cloud-based map and camera fusions can also improve the reliability and efficacy of a vehicle’s existing Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) by re-using mandatory ISA components. For example, adaptive cruise control systems will still be able to operate effectively during bad weather while new IVI-based functionality can be rolled out at speed via over-the-air system updates.
With electric vehicle (EV) sales predicted to rise from 6.6 million in 2021 to 20.6 million in 2025, EVs are set to dominate in the future. However, the new technology introduces new efficiency challenges that must be overcome to secure EV’s long-term success and sustainability for both drivers and OEMs:
Many drivers still suffer from range anxiety and concerns about where to stop to charge, charging speeds, and more. Best-in-class IVI navigation address all these issues, offering highly accurate range estimates based on live data; the best places for faster charging; the optimum speed to curb unnecessary energy use; and hyper-accurate routing that avoids battery-sapping congested roads and challenging terrain.
This level of insight is also essential for plug-in hybrid vehicles. IVIs leveraging accurate map data can analyze journeys, providing the hybrid’s battery management system with key information such as route elevation and predicted driving speeds. Using this data, the hybrid’s battery system can determine when to make its energy available to reduce fuel consumption on long journeys.
More regulations are expected that encourage drivers to be as energy-efficient and emissions-free as possible. Like speed limiters, these will rely on accurate data from navigation services to deliver real-world gains. For example, precise map data could be used to force plug-in hybrids to switch to electric power only when entering a low emission zone.
The future of auto functionality
Such versatility illustrates how IVIs combined with cloud-based data streams and updating have the potential to move beyond their traditional role of hubs for navigation and entertainment. As they continue to evolve, infotainment systems will instead become an integral part of a vehicle’s DNA as well as the driver’s experience.
And this evolution is vital. With the right strategy, IVIs have a crucial part to play in creating safer roads for everyone. Importantly, they also have the potential to help us all take significant steps towards creating a more sustainable future for our transport network, our lives – and the health of the planet itself.