The dig­i­tal cock­pit has ar­rived!

Auto components India - - COVER STORY - By: Arun Devaraj, Head En­gi­neer­ing– In­dia and Korea, Visteon In­dia

The na­tion which was once ob­sessed with mileage is now con­sid­er­ing “con­nec­tiv­ity” and “user ex­pe­ri­ence” in the cock­pit as the ma­jor cri­te­ria to buy a car. To­day’s con­sumers do not re­gard the “car” as a means of trans­porta­tion to get some­where. They also de­sire to turn their jour­ney into an ex­pe­ri­ence, enhanced by best-in class con­nec­tiv­ity and seam­less ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion and en­ter­tain­ment on large dis­plays by the click of an app.

Au­to­mo­tive man­u­fac­tur­ers are now re­spond­ing to this con­sumer de­mand and cars are now mar­keted more on the rich­ness of the cock­pit elec­tron­ics ex­pe­ri­ence such as dig­i­tal in­stru­ment clus­ters and con­nected in­fo­tain­ment sys­tems with large dis­plays to en­able easy and in­tu­itive in­ter­ac­tion with driv­ing in­for­ma­tion and


Clus­ter - Ana­log to Hy­brid and Dig­i­tal

In In­dia, we see that the mar­ket is evolv­ing from ana­log in­stru­ment clus­ters to LCD and Thin Film Tran­sis­tor (TFT) dis­play-based clus­ters. The TFT dis­plays of­fer an enhanced graph­i­cal user in­ter­face and a host of dig­i­tal in­for­ma­tion - such as “turn by turn” nav­i­ga­tion and ra­dio data - in an easy to read man­ner.

The next few years are likely to wit­ness the adop­tion of 7-inches and above dis­plays in clus­ters. Th­ese will be ei­ther hy­brid or fully dig­i­tal, en­abling the OEMs to push more rel­e­vant con­tent such as drive mode, park­ing view, nav­i­ga­tion etc. on the dis­play. In ad­di­tion, all-dig­i­tal clus­ters have the ben­e­fit of be­ing “fu­ture proof”, as car­mak­ers can sup­port any new fea­ture through a soft­ware up­grade over-the-air ver­sus hav­ing to de­sign a new in­stru­ment clus­ter.

Visteon is one of the largest sup­pli­ers of in­stru­ment clus­ters to auto man­u­fac­tur­ers glob­ally and is lead­ing the in­dus­try in the tran­si­tion to all-dig­i­tal clus­ters. Visteon’s mid- to high-end in­stru­ment clus­ter plat­forms are the most suc­cess­ful clus­ter tech­nol­ogy plat­forms in the in­dus­try.

The rise of dis­play au­dio

In­fo­tain­ment sys­tems that of­fer en­ter­tain­ment and driv­ing in­for­ma­tion fea­tures such as mul­ti­me­dia and nav­i­ga­tion com­prise the largest seg­ment of the au­to­mo­tive cock­pit elec­tron­ics mar­ket.

Con­sumers to­day ex­pect seam­less con­nec­tiv­ity and a fa­mil­iar in­ter­face on their in­fo­tain­ment sys­tems with easy ac­cess to the data and apps on their smart­phones. This has led to the in­tro­duc­tion of dis­play au­dio sys­tems with a 7-inch (or greater) LCD dis­play with smart­phone in­te­gra­tion.

In the re­cent years, the mar­ket has also wit­nessed the pen­e­tra­tion of smart­phone pro­jec­tion tech­nolo­gies, such as An­droid Auto and CarPlay. Th­ese tech­nolo­gies of­fer a richer, more graph­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence – in­clud­ing nav­i­ga­tion and me­dia play­back – which has re­sulted in strong de­mand for in­te­gra­tion of th­ese tech­nolo­gies in the ve­hi­cle across all sys­tems - from en­try to high end.


Lux­ury ve­hi­cles are of­fer­ing in­fo­tain­ment sys­tems with larger dis­plays, with con­nec­tiv­ity (WiFi sup­port), apps and

nav­i­ga­tion. Th­ese sys­tems will also be ex­pected to be re­freshed and up­dated over-the-air.

Visteon was the first sup­plier to rec­og­nize the need to make in-ve­hi­cle in­fo­tain­ment sys­tems a mo­bile com­put­ing plat­form and launched the Phoenix in­fo­tain­ment plat­form at CES 2017 in Las Ve­gas. Phoenix in unique in the sense that it uses HTML5 tech­nol­ogy as the foun­da­tion for run­ning apps that can ac­cess lo­cal de­vice and in­ter­net-based re­sources to of­fer a cut­ting-edge in­fo­tain­ment ex­pe­ri­ence.

Phoenix is rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent from to­day’s in­fo­tain­ment sys­tems, which are mostly static with­out the pos­si­bil­ity of third-party apps. Be­sides built-in ap­pli­ca­tions such as AM/FM Tuner, USB/SD Mul­ti­me­dia, Blue­tooth hands-free and au­dio, and nav­i­ga­tion, Phoenix al­lows auto man­u­fac­tur­ers to of­fer in­fo­tain­ment sys­tems that can con­tin­u­ally of­fer new apps de­vel­oped by in-house or by third par­ties. The tech­nol­ogy is de­signed to be in­her­ently cloudaware through its use of HTML5 and other in­ter­net-ori­ented tech­nolo­gies.

Visteon has won sev­eral cus­tomer pro­grammes with the Phoenix so­lu­tion and we ex­pect to con­tinue to do well in the en­try/ mid-seg­ment. Ad­di­tion­ally, we are de­vel­op­ing our ca­pa­bil­i­ties in em­bed­ded An­droid for Au­to­mo­tive, which we ex­pect to be a key tech­nol­ogy for the next gen­er­a­tion of high-end in­fo­tain­ment sys­tems.

Cock­pit con­sol­i­da­tion

Visteon was the first sup­plier to in­tro­duce a cock­pit do­main con­troller, called Smart­Core, which lever­ages new sil­i­con and soft­ware tech­nolo­gies to of­fer an in­te­grated in­stru­ment clus­ter plus in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem on a sin­gle sys­tem-on-chip or SOC. This is the pre­vail­ing trend in con­sol­i­dat­ing cock­pit elec­tron­ics and of­fer­ing enhanced pro­cess­ing power, and Visteon has the lead in pro­vid­ing th­ese so­lu­tions with four OEM pro­grammes in de­vel­op­ment – with the first mar­ket launch oc­cur­ring this year.

At CES 2018, we demon­strated our An­droid ca­pa­bil­i­ties with an An­droid-based in­fo­tain­ment so­lu­tion as well as a Smart­Core so­lu­tion that of­fers in­te­gra­tion of the in­stru­ment clus­ter and An­droid-based in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem.


We are work­ing to de­ploy the SAE cy­ber se­cu­rity stan­dard, J3061. One of the key foun­da­tions of J3061 is “se­cure de­vel­op­ment life cy­cle,” which aims to im­prove the hard­ware and soft­ware se­cu­rity through ground-up de­sign.

At Visteon, we are tak­ing a very prag­matic ap­proach. One of our key pil­lars is a se­cure boot – en­sur­ing that only very trusted soft­ware in­side the elec­tronic con­trol unit (ECU) is be­ing used and pro­tected. Se­cond is se­cure com­mu­ni­ca­tions – if you are con­nected to the in­ter­net, we must make sure the com­mu­ni­ca­tion is se­cure. The third pil­lar is se­cure stor­age of cus­tomer and ve­hi­cle data. The fourth pil­lar is se­cure soft­ware up­dates.

We want to bring in the se­cu­rity fo­cus in our DNA. for ex­am­ple, when writ­ing soft­ware, we en­sure that we are in­puts and out­puts are val­i­dated and use thread-safe, se­cure ap­pli­ca­tion pro­gram­ming in­ter­faces (APIs).

With the com­bi­na­tion of Phoenix in­fo­tain­ment, smart­phone pro­jec­tion tech­nol­ogy, the Smart­Core do­main con­troller plat­form, the new em­bed­ded An­droid ca­pa­bil­ity and con­for­mance to J3061 we are in a strong po­si­tion to cre­ate the so­lu­tions for the next gen­er­a­tion of au­to­mo­tive cock­pit so­lu­tions.

Visteon’s Smart­core lever­ages new sil­i­con and soft­ware tech­nolo­gies to of­fer an in­te­grated in­stru­ment clus­ter plus in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem on a sin­gle sys­tem-on-chip

CarPlay-based dis­play

Arun Devaraj, Head En­gi­neer­ing– In­dia and Korea, Visteon In­dia

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