Is your car connected? And if so, how, and to what extent? We have relatively simple Bluetooth smartphone connections on the one hand and comprehensive embedded systems on the other. Connected car technology is evolving quickly, and keeping up with it is non-trivial.
So I was interested to learn recently that tier one supplier Continental agreed to license Airbiquity’s Choreo connected car service platform and is focusing, initially, at least, on Choreo’s Driver Experience offering. Airbiquity describes it as a turnkey infotainment ecosystem and dynamic update capability.
Automakers – Continental’s customers – can configure content menus for specific vehicle makes and models by country. Drivers can make menu selections from their smartphone or PC to integrate their personal preferences among global and regional smartphone apps, cloud content, and support for basic and premium automotive services. Infotainment content is continuously updated from the cloud without driver involvement.
The better the connected vehicle system, the better the driving experience; especially if distraction is minimized. The firms say that controls have been designed within Choreo and integrated into Continental head units to ensure that speech recognition, text-to-voice, and app features allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road.
“There is a lot of interest in the tier one supplier head unit community in being able to offer customers the ability to bring in a pre-integrated infotainment delivery solution that provides for differentiation as well as for an extension of the automaker’s product offering,” says Scott Frank, Airbiquity’s vice president of marketing. Choreo is deployed in nearly five million cars globally, and the platform is nearing two billion vehicle transactions (calls between cars and the cloud).
“We look at the head unit as a computer that can connect and dynamically deliver content through the cloud using MNO (mobile network operator) bandwidth and integrating smartphones,” Frank says. “It’s super cool and super effective, and a higher order than what head units have been providing. We can extend and enhance our offering so it can really meet the digital lifestyle needs of today’s car buyers.”
For automakers and their suppliers, meeting those needs is increasingly important.