With the growing requirement of consumers to advance the integration of consumer electronics in automotive infotainment applications, there arises a need for car manufactures to bridge the gap between open source In-Vehicle Infotainment applications and the 'closed' automotive domain. With this integration into a single domain control unit, the differences in the individual software technologies should vanish for the driver. The driver should see an integrated, unified human machine interface, which can always be operated in the same way. General Motors and Bosch have joined forces to develop a new basis for automotive infotainment system. The Cadillac User Experience (CUE) is the world's first driver information system to work with an open-source operating technology. The Cadillac User Experience (CUE)'s key features will help drivers interact with infotainment, communication, navigation and personalization features while they keep their eyes on the road and your hands on the steering wheel.
autojunction.in also spoke with the designers and architects at Bosch to get a clearer perspective of what the Cadillac User Experience is all about, and what future potential it holds.
What are the infotainment features of The Cadillac User Experience (CUE)?
Key infotainment features include the following –
Natural language speech recognition
Full 3D-navigation graphics
Bluetooth-Audio, Rear View Camera
XM Realtime services
MyMedia (Media device content merging)
How is the CUE different Ford's SYNC (with Microsoft), or Vauxhall ADAM, or Mercedes' iOS-based Digital DriveStyle, or, more pertinent to Indian consumers, the Tata Motors-Samsung ConnectNEXT? There are a number of third-party free apps for automotive users, which promote car-pooling to save money and fuel, and community parking etc. Will CUE support such apps?
CUE has successfully made its mark as a driver interface that leaps two generations ahead with a blend of software with intelligent design and intuitiveness. With the natural voice recognition and responsive touch-screen technology, CUE creates a smart, connected and advanced driving experience for users. Currently CUE does not support third party apps.
Given the specifics of using such an infotainment system while driving, is it gesture controlled, or through a touch-screen interface, or voice activated, or does it have traditional buttons? Or is it a combination of one or more methods?
This system is gesture controlled and also has voice recognition. Some of the gestures available are pinch, spread, fling, swipe, drag. The faceplate also supports touch and gestures like swipe. This system also supports haptic feedback and proximity sensing for better user interaction.
Is Bosch also working on a "low cost" CUE for more value conscious consumers? Will this be available in future on third-party devices, or on Bosch's own range of plug-and-play devices?
CUE is something which is owned by GM and a low cost CUE completely depends on the OEM. As of now there is no plug-and-play / third party device planned for the CUE.
Ashwin Shetty, Senior Manager
Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Limited
Ashwin Shetty (L) and Soj Thomas make sense of the Bosch CUE.
How is the automotive sector leveraging open source technology?
Main adoption of open-source software in automotive sector comes from the infotainment area where the influence from consumer electronics world is significant. Open source consortia like GENIVI, Linaro and Tizen cater to automotive electronic products in the passenger compartment. Apart from infotainment, there are open source initiatives for AUTOSAR based ECU development e.g. http://www.arccore.com/.
What are the reasons for adoption of open source in the auto industry?
There is a growing demand for integrated driver assistance and infotainment system solutions. Integration of navigation, telematics, multimedia, consumer electronic devices connectivity and driver assistance has evolved a modern-day car infotainment device into a complex system. Surveys point out that software size increases ten-fold every year in high-end cars. Prediction is that in the forthcoming years software and electronics will account for 40% of a vehicle's content and some vehicles may contain over 100 million lines of code. Integrating rapidly evolving multimedia requirements into vehicles with long development cycles is a tremendous challenge. A vehicle’s life may last a decade; consumer devices stay current for only a matter of months. A new car rolling out the assembly line today should not have infotainment technology 3 to 5 years old. Old systems were vertically integrated and proprietary. It is not practical anymore to develop such systems ground up each time a new kind of OEM device is contracted. OEM tier-1 suppliers needed to move from 5 year, hardware centric design cycles to a rapid and open “consumer electronics” model without losing out on the expectations from an automotive grade device.
Open source software based development helps the automotive industry to
i) quickly leverage innovations at consumer industry level
ii) integrate third party software
iii) increase the lifetime of the infotainment device by providing software updates from time to time.
Some possibilities of future infotainment, driver-assistance, connected cars and other automotive systems that can be developed using open source in future?
Open platforms will enable the future car owner to get his or her custom infotainment. Seamless integration of smartphones, tablets, internet and social media are some features that open source technologies will enable in the years to come.
What is the traction for open source applications and solutions among auto and component manufacturers?
In the infotainment industry usage of open source is now state-of-the-art and is expected by OEMs as well as end users. Other automotive components like ECU software and open source design specifications are still not very popular and hence does not have the same traction as telematics, infotainment and tools do in the automotive design and development sector.
What are the Trends in open source adoption in the auto industry in India?
Major Indian OEMs and Global OEMs in India have open source based infotainment products already in the market. Most of the automotive suppliers in India, tier one and below, have adopted open source as a necessary means to compete in the infotainment domain. Linux has consistently gained its popularity as the operating system of choice in infotainment head units and telematic systems.
What are the Challenges facing the adoption of this technology (open source), and what are th best practices?
The first and foremost challenge about using open source components is complying to the license terms. Automotive industry is still driven by intellectual property. Using open source software components without fully understanding the license obligations will lead to loss of intellectual property, financial loss and loss of reputation. Secondly, most of the open source comes without warranty, or even most times with explicit warranty disclaimers. Unfortunately, neither tier-1 suppliers, nor OEMs can pass these disclaimers to the end user. Taking care of product liability, at the same time using open source becomes a significant challenge. Nevertheless, in the recent years there are some best practices evolved in this regard. Some examples are; dedicated techno-legal teams to support architectural design decisions, establishment of white-listed and black-listed software components, increased attention to license terms and most importantly scanning of the automotive software for presence of open source software.
Soj Thomas, Chief Expert
Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Limited
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