(snip) Ok, so from my perspective the future of car infotainment is going to combine many of the posts in this thread (I will provide a summary then go into it a bit). For sure closer device connectivity will happen. Features that OEMs either find interesting business models around, are table stakes or that they want to ensure a consistent experience across all vehicle models and devices, will likely move to be built in. Then you will see a focus on cloud / internet based applications and services (with some partition with local content for non-connected times). Many of the systems will combine all three (pocket, cloud, car) applications, content and services. How about a deeper dive into each of these areas?
Device connectivity and application sharing will be one method of enhancing (and being enhanced by) the vehicle’s interior environment, but it won’t be the only way. Enabling devices in an appealing, while safe, way in a vehicle will still necessitate quite a bit of electronics in the vehicle: Large displays, high end graphics processors, high end CPUs, Operating Systems, Speech recognition software, etc. All of this will still be in the vehicle even if much of the end users application experiences are enabled through the use of “pocket applications”. OEMs have a vested interest in a consistent end user experience for certain applications across all devices, carriers and vehicle models. Some of these applications over time will shift from being brought into the vehicle to being a feature too important to leave out of the vehicle or to need to rely on you always carrying your (associated) device.
As a related aside, my wife is driving our vehicle right now to the zoo. She just called me at work because she couldn’t remember the correct freeway exit. I started to say use the off-board navigation, but that services is paired to my phone (with me) not hers. . . what a pain.
So back on topic: Another thing to highlight is that new business models will emerge that OEMs will be remiss to not consider. Take for instance the sheer data an OEM’s telematics systems can collect. There are already rumors in the industry about trades being negotiated between Google and OEMs for vehicle data. There might be instances where enabling local search, maps, navigation, the display in a car, etc. might have financial benefits for the OEM or providing opt in “probe data / crowd sourcing” could benefit a driver in some way. In many cases implementing key features or even updating electronics and software will potentially be paid for by these new business models. Also, many costs currently absorbed into the vehicles BOM will be able to be offset by revenue associated with new business models. For example, Blackberry traffic was announced last year. This traffic application will be provided for free and will provide both real-time and historical traffic information. Traffic is something that has a significant cost in OEM systems today.
|Audi MMI with Google Earth|
- removing large storage: used for map data, speech vocabulary, multimedia, . . .,
- license costs for speech rec, map and navigation data and algorithms, points of interest . . .
- Geofenced advertising: “50% off pizza at Joes next exit”; “xyz, one of your favorite Pandora seed bands is playing a surprise show at the park up ahead”
- Traffic brought to you by _________
- Download the latest horn tone, or electric vehicle engine sound for $x
So what will the future of Infotainment be: All of the above . . . likely at the same time. (/snip)