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In-Vehicle Infotainment Solutions:
Making the Best of a Comfortable Drive

Why do people drive cars? Naturally, to get from point A to point B at their convenience without having to rely on public transport where you delegate all control of the trip to the service provider. But getting to the destination fast isn’t enough in the busy 21st century.
It would be a sheer waste of valuable travel time if you spend it just grabbing the wheel tight for several hours a day. Modern drivers like to stay abreast of the events around them and enjoy their favorite music or podcasts during the journey. Car manufacturers have sensed this demand for high-tech media and entertainment immersion and react to it by equipping their brainchildren with in-vehicle infotainment solutions. This market is on a rapid rise, predicted to more than double its value in 2027 (as compared to the numbers of 2019) and reach the astounding $54.8 billion displaying an impressive CAGR of over 10%.

The In-Vehicle Infotainment System: A Closer View

The very word infotainment is a blend that – quite obviously – integrates the notions of information and entertainment. And in-vehicle systems that provide both to the driver and passengers are also a kind of a combo. This product of automotive software development consists of specialized hardware and software that form a unity to keep people inside the car updated information-wise and delighted aesthetic-wise. Typically, IVI solutions provide connectivity opportunities (both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) augmenting them with live media streaming capability and allow mobile integration.

What are the key elements of an in-vehicle infotainment system?

  • Head unit. Being the heart of all in-vehicle systems this tablet-like gadget is integrated into the dashboard of the car and serves as the control hub for all operations performed by the system.
  • Heads-up display. This component of the in-vehicle infotainment complex is mounted on the vehicle’s windshield to provide real-time information on the car’s functioning (such as climate, speed, navigation maps, multimedia connection options, etc.). Its position is conditioned by the need to minimize the driver’s distraction while observing the critical parameters during the ride.
  • Digital signal processing and graphic processing units. These elements are called to enable high-quality displaying of the content on multiple screens.
  • Operating system. Whereas the head unit is the heart, the OS is the brain of the in-vehicle infotainment system. It enables its flawless running, performing all its functions, and provides the ability to integrate third-party software (such as infotainment apps).
  • Connectivity modules. The system has to be able to communicate not only with other software but with external hardware too. These modules (GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth) ensure that IVI sees eye to eye with the gizmos that the driver or passengers may want to use during the trip.
  • Automotive sensors. Safety information is vital for a successful journey. Such data from a collection of sensors (including camera, proximity, ambient light detection, gesture recognition, and a lot of others) is fed into the system and displayed to the driver to correct their driving behavior and mode.
  • Digital instrument cluster. Speedometer, odometer, fuel indicator, RPM, and other gauges have always been a part of the information board drivers refer to. The advent of the IT revolution into the automotive industry has transformed these into digital devices integrated with the vehicle’s information elements which effectively turns the car interior into a digital cockpit.
  • Network protocol support. All units of the IVI must speak to each other employing CAN (Controller Area Network) or other communication protocols. Such standardized interaction rules enable devices and microcontrollers in them to communicate without applying to the host computer.

All these components are continually sophisticated as soon as new advancements in the IT realm are ushered in. Being seasoned experts in the automotive solutions niche we at Sirin Software are constantly monitoring the current trends in the industry. Lately, we have been witnessing a serious boost in the in-vehicle infotainment development field.

Development of In-Vehicle Infotainment Solutions: A Look into the Future

Having analyzed the existing bottlenecks in the functioning of IVI systems, the specialists of Sirin Software see the following tasks as mission-critical for addressing the challenges the industry faces.

  • Reducing boot-up time. The head unit takes some time to be ready for operation (especially if it is an Android-powered IVI). Linux-fueled systems are faster to boot but still leave a lot to be desired. Developers are to work on creating such software that would start together with the engine of the car.
  • Minimizing response time. Ideally, response to the touch on the screen should be instant – whether it is to get access to some functionality or launch an app. While IVI’s native elements are satisfactory in this parameter, big-size applications relying on voluminous data aren’t that quick. High-profile app developers should make a point of it.
  • Providing software updates. Being embedded products, IVI solutions have a limited update potential. They are often built into the vehicle and are supposed to last for the whole period of its employment. However, the contemporary IT landscape is prone to rapid changes which can render the in-vehicle infotainment system obsolete or even non-functional very soon. IVI developers should envisage such a possibility and make infotainment system flexibility one of their ultimate goals.
  • Bolstering connectivity. People today are multitaskers who try to do a dozen things simultaneously. And they don’t relish the idea of abandoning this practice even while driving a car. They want to be able to book a table at a restaurant, order food delivered to their front door, share in the social media pictures of a curious event they witness passing by or even stream it live. To be able to do it, they would like to turn their in-vehicle infotainment system into a control center whose display would enable all these operations without the need to employ several other devices.
  • Taking thought for infotainment apps accessibility. Being a story apart, these apps can’t be found in regular app stores. That is why car makers and app developers should unite their efforts in founding specialized IVI app stores to make them available to the huge audience of vehicle owners.
  • Adding the garage mode functionality. Vehicles need to be diagnosed and repaired from time to time. The data mechanics require to provide proper maintenance must be presented in the infotainment module so special interfaces are to be developed to access all relevant metrics.
  • Stressing security and safety. As any other IT-powered device, the in-vehicle infotainment system may be tampered with by wrongdoers who would like to obtain some personal (including sensitive) or financial data about the car’s owner. Or hackers might want to take over control of the vehicle’s AI completely to render its resistance to stealing attempts non-existent. To counter that, IVI developers must take robust protective measures.
    But it is not only the vehicle itself that is in danger. A significant threat to drivers may come from the very infotainment system. And this threat is called distraction. Videos or movies the driver watches on the screen of the head unit, unexpected noises or light coming out from it, or any hands-on activities with IVI can end up in a car accident (and lawsuits against its creators).
    Thus, the principal guideline for in-vehicle software developers should be minimizing visual information on the screen in favor of voice signals and commands.
Order an In-Vehicle Infotainment Solution from Us

As you see, creating efficient and safe in-vehicle infotainment products is a no-nonsense job that can be tackled only by a crew of experts with sufficient expertise and an impeccable record of similar projects in the field. Sirin Software ticks all the boxes being able to deliver any IVI solution that will satisfy the most fastidious user with its seamless functionality and exquisite design. Contact us today to commission a high-profile IVI project!

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