Connected Cars: Where are we headed?|Sasken

  Nov 4, 2016 11:21:05 AM

Man’s bid to have a connected world has led to the invention of useful products that shape our world today. The morphing of the wheel and telephone to cars and mobile phones has paved the way for the Connected Car.

In layman terms, the Connected Car is a mobile on four wheels that lets the user make calls and use the Internet as well as location services. Over the past decade, this concept has evolved to encompass applications such as remote key, status monitoring, firmware update, remote control, traffic update, Wi-Fi, V2X (vehicle to infrastructure) safety, diagnostics, and alerts.

The global market revenue for connected cars is estimated to double at about USD 141 billion in 2021. Safety and autonomous driving, which is now accounting for close to 61 percent of the revenue, is only going to increase. In the premium automobile segment, the spending on digital technology is expected to rise to 10 percent of total vehicle sales by 2021; more than double the current level of four percent.

The key drivers of this trend are connectivity, computation, and cost. The success of the connected car solution depends on the understanding of market, value proposition to customer, and achieving a balance among these factors based on the target segment. There are multiple challenges such as:

  • Regulatory
    • Automotive regulations
    • Telecom regulations
    • Privacy and data protection
    • Warranties
  • Market
    • Partnerships
    • Ownership of data
    • Business model
    • Identification of use-cases
  • Technical
    • Building competency for transition to connectivity
    • Complexity of systems due to multiple technologies/platforms, ecosystem and safety/security/reliability considerations
    • Firmware over-the-air (FOTA), connectivity, and modem integration

Sasken with its unparalleled domain competencies in communication and media processing is contributing to a connected future by delivering supreme services in the new and evolving environment of connected vehicles.

We have developed a connected car gateway solution on MinnowBoard MAX chipset that is based on Intel Atom processor using Automotive Grade Linux 2.0 with the following features:

  • eCall, B-call
  • Vehicle tracking, status monitoring and remote control on a mobile
  • Collecting vehicle performance parameters and uploading to Amazon cloud for performing analytics
  • Internet sharing
  • Interface to Home gateway unit to control AC, Garage lighting and other home appliances
  • MQTT based messaging system to communicate with cloud
  • Secure communication between TCU and cloud using TLS protocol, Intrusion detection (IDPS)
  • Provision for 3rd party modem integration
  • Unified architecture supporting both OEM-fitted (CAN) and aftermarket (OBD-II) scenarios

The solution, which is also available on a Renesas R-Car chipset, is capable of tracking vehicle location and broadcasting the information to a central server. It can automatically initiate emergency assistance in case of a car breakdown by calling or notifying the operator and control the car using a smart phone.

At Sasken, we anticipate a future trend where:

  • Infotainment, telematics, and driver assistance would not be independent sub-systems but would merge and result in real-time, on-demand services like Spotify and connected diagnostics among others.
  • The Connected Car gateway is going to get richer in functionality while the complexity will increase.
  • Open Connected Car platform is the future where Tier-1s provide a platform and expose an SDK on which third parties can develop a variety of apps and provide services.
  • Innovative business models for data monetization will emerge
  • Security will be a moving target but levels of security will increase resulting in higher adoption

The success in this space depends on the adoption and emergence of business models that would allow constituents to earn revenue. Connected Car solutions provide opportunities for players from non-auto ecosystems to jointly innovate with car companies and be successful. Standardization of services is still far away and would be a driver for growth in coming years.

Author: Debashis Panigrahi, Specialist (Telematics and V2X), Automotive Portfolio

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