Vis­teon bets big with nextgen in­fo­tain­ment plat­form Phoenix

Auto components India - - CONTENTS - Text : Bhar­gav TS ACI

In the rapidly evolv­ing world of au­to­mo­tive elec­tron­ics, few fea­tures can in­flu­ence the driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence more than in-ve­hi­cle in­fo­tain­ment. By giv­ing driv­ers and pas­sen­gers ac­cess to nav­i­ga­tion, traf­fic and weather along with au­dio, video and other en­ter­tain­ment a ro­bust, up-to-date, in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem can help cre­ate a safer, more en­joy­able drive. The boom in con­sumers’ use of mo­bile de­vices has raised ex­pec­ta­tions for in-ve­hi­cle in­fo­tain­ment. Ther­fore to pro­vide next-gen­er­a­tion in­fo­tain­ment plat­form that can keep up with the ever-chang­ing evolv­ing tech­nol­ogy of con­sumer’s mo­bile apps, el­e­vat­ing in­fo­tain­ment to a new level, global ve­hi­cle cock­pit elec­tron­ics player, Vis­teon has in­tro­duced a break­through prod­uct Phoenix.

“Phoenix is de­signed to un­lock in­no­va­tion by en­abling third-party devel­op­ers to cre­ate apps eas­ily, while de­liv­er­ing built-in cy­ber se­cu­rity and over-the-air up­dates. Phoenix of­fers an au­to­mo­tive--ori­ented JavaScript ap­pli­ca­tion pro­gramme in­ter­face (API) for HTML5-based app de­vel­op­ment. It is the first au­to­mo­tive in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem to fa­cil­i­tate app cre­ation through a soft­ware de­vel­op­ment kit (SDK) and soft­ware simulation of the tar­get hard­ware sys­tem,” Amit Jain, Coun­try Head, Vis­teon In­dia, told Auto Com­po­nents In­dia.

He con­tin­ued say­ing that, “Phoenix is based on an open ar­chi­tec­ture that proac­tively seeks to tap the in­no­va­tion and cre­ativ­ity of the broad com­mu­nity of app devel­op­ers, break­ing down the tra­di­tional bar­rier for em­bed­ded au­to­mo­tive app de­vel­op­ment that has re­stricted the avail­abil­ity of apps for in­fo­tain­ment sys­tems,” Jain added.

De­sign to adapt – App de­vel­oped friendly

Tra­di­tion­ally the en­tire in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem is de­vel­oped by the Tier1 sup­pli­ers. The OEMs are very par­tic­u­lar that the sup­plier should start from the de­sign to all the as­pects of im­ple­men­ta­tion. Even af­ter a pe­riod of 2 years, the OEMs would in­sist that the same sup­plier should re­fresh the prod­uct with no flex­i­bil­ity. Vis­teon of­fers a unique Phoenix SDK, in­cor­po­rat­ing libraries of code, doc­u­ments and a sim­u­la­tor to sup­port app de­vel­op­ment by third par­ties. The SDK makes app de­vel­op­ment eas­ier than the con­ven­tional ap­proach, which, re­quires cus­tom soft­ware and hard­ware; it also lacks third­party tools and is costly and time-con­sum­ing.

“With Phoenix, the de­vel­oper will be able to log on to a Vis­teon mi­crosite, cre­ate and test apps with an SDK and a sim­u­la­tor. The app is then val­i­dated by the au­tomaker or Vis­teon and pub­lished to an app store,” Jain said. He fur­ther said, “For any change the time to mar­ket is de­pen­dent upon how quickly the Tier 1 re­acts. So to ad­dress those is­sues we have de­vel­oped Phoenix in such a way and brought down the base plat­form. The plat­form will have the hard­ware and base soft­ware. The im­ple­men­ta­tion of what the end con­sumer feels and in­ter­acts with is all pro­grammed as apps (ap­pli­ca­tion). So what­ever apps is re­quired can be de­vel­oped by the OEMs or third party. They can down­load the apps and use it the way they want. This flex­i­bil­ity has never been given be­fore by any Tier 1 to the OEM and this is the first of its kind that Vis­teon is of­fer­ing to them. This will also open up third party devel­op­ers in the way phones are de­vel­oped,” Jain said.

Highly se­cure

Phoenix also comes with in-built mul­ti­ple se­cu­rity lay­ers which will not al­low the apps de­vel­oped by the third party to ac­cess the CAN network of the OEM. Mul­ti­ple lay­ers of fire­walls have been built into this sys­tem. Phoenix is de­signed for cy­ber se­cu­rity from the ground up. It is de­vel­oped to meet the in­tent of the SAE stan­dard J3061 frame­work.

“We are tak­ing multi-lay­ered ap­proach to pro­tect the soft­ware with se­cure boot – en­sur­ing that only trusted soft­ware is run in­side the ECU,” Jain said.

Fully up­grade­able

Phoenix also ad­vances the ca­pa­bil­ity to up­date in-ve­hi­cle apps over the air, ei­ther on a deal­er­ship lot or in the drive­ways of in­di­vid­ual owners. With Phoenix, for the first time au­tomak­ers can se­curely up­date just one por­tion of an app, us­ing Vis­teon’s pro­pri­etary block-and-file tech­nol­ogy, rather than need­ing to up­grade the en­tire sys­tem.

Phoenix al­ready has dif­fer­ent pos­si­bil­i­ties to con­nect to the in­ter­net. It has WiFi and can con­nect through phone hotspot or any ex­ter­nal travel modems, or by con­nect­ing the USB don­gle to the sys­tem. Of­ten the ve­hi­cle it­self will have TCU, which may have a 3G or 4G built-in sim and this will con­nect through the in­ter­nal wiring of the car and to the in­ter­net. With these op­tions the apps can be down­loaded cus­tomised. Thus the in­fo­tain­ment can be kept fresh for a longer pe­riod.

Im­prov­ing the driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence by dis­play­ing all re­quired in­for­ma­tion on one large screen, Phoenix im­proves the driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence as well. Ap­pli­ca­tion in­te­gra­tion oc­curs via “recipes” that en­able the ap­pro­pri­ate app at the ideal time. Phoenix “stitches” to­gether (in­te­grates) apps na­tive to the car with apps from An­droid, Ap­ple (IOS), Linux and Win­dows to bring all the right apps to­gether at the ap­pro­pri­ate time con­tex­tu­ally, with­out a need to touch any­thing.

For in­stance, with an in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem de­vel­oped on the new Phoenix frame­work, the driver doesn’t just re­ceive a warn­ing light and tone when the ve­hi­cle is low on fuel; he also im­me­di­ately sees on the in­fo­tain­ment screen the near­est fu­el­ing sta­tion and/ or the low­est-cost sta­tion. The in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem then uses an in­te­grated nav­i­ga­tion app to route the driver to that sta­tion. No one needs to use a phone or touch a screen; all the re­quired in­for­ma­tion is au­to­mat­i­cally dis­played on one screen.

The other use case could be stitch­ing in­ter­net ra­dio app to USB media man­ager. In a sce­nario where the driver is lis­ten­ing to a par­tic­u­lar artist- say AR Rah­man (media from USB), he/ she will have the op­tion to choose an in­ter­net ra­dio icon, which would then pro­vide him/ her the op­tion of view­ing all the tracks by the Rah­man while lis­ten­ing to the cur­rent track at a su­pe­rior qual­ity from the in­ter­net ra­dio.

Vis­teon is demon­strat­ing the just­launched Phoenix to the OEMs. Jain said, “they are im­pressed since the sys­tem al­lows them to con­trol it. Once the con­trol goes to them, they can eas­ily mon­i­tor the cost and de­cide when to up­grade the prod­uct and much more.”

Re­ply­ing to a query on loos­ing the hold by open­ing up the mar­ket, Jain replied, “Be­yond a point some­body has to do it and mar­ket has to open up and we are pi­o­neer­ing it. The real value comes when you start open­ing it up to third party devel­op­ers. This will lead to many more ap­pli­ca­tions and in­no­va­tions that will rock the in­dus­try and drive higher user sat­is­fac­tion. We be­lieve that we will fo­cus on what we can do the best. We will bring in new tech­nol­ogy and leave it open for the third party devel­op­ers,” Jain con­cluded.

Amit Jain, Coun­try Head, Vis­teon In­dia

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.