Login to your account
Not a member? Register now.

Subscribe To The Blog:

Follow Us

The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Automakers Move Toward a Single Standard for In-Vehicle Technology

Comments: Leave | View
On: Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 5:57PM | By: Chris Weiss

Automakers Move Toward a Single Standard for In-Vehicle Technology

Whether you find in-vehicle technology useful, fascinating or all-out terrifying, it's pretty clear that it's coming to cars from major manufacturers across the board. Given that each company has its own system, like MyFord Touch or GM's OnStar, the advance of technological components presents a growing problem to consumers and third-party manufacturers alike. In addition to power, equipment, price, efficiency, and other standard factors, auto buyers will soon have to compare advanced infotainment systems and try to figure out which best meets their needs. And electronic manufacturers face the prospect of having to develop parts and software for a large, segmented horde of proprietary systems.

Well, Nokia is leading a movement to nip this problem in the bud. The cell phone manufacturer hopes to develop a single platform for in-vehicle technology that will be utilized by all major auto brands.

Called Terminal Mode, the standard would provide a single template for connecting smartphones to vehicle infotainment systems for use in hands-free calling, entertainment, wireless Internet, hands-free text messaging, and other activities. The system would replace the growing number of segmented systems that use their own hardware and software, making it easier to operate smartphone-integrated infotainment systems across makes and models. The system would also make it easier for software developers to design auto-specific apps for use in cars.

Earlier this month, Nokia's plan made progress when major players like Daimler, GM, Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota came together and formed the Car Connectivity Consortium, an organization working to develop the terminal mode standard. On the other side of the standard, electronics companies like LG, Panasonic, Samsung, and, of course, Nokia are part of the Consortium.

On the driver's end, the Consortium hopes to develop a standard that is as simple as three steps (two steps really): get into the car, connect your smartphone wirelessly or via USB, and get access to all your smartphone's functions via your infotainment system. The different menus and options of current-generation infotainment systems would be replaced with something unified and intuitive. The standard would also help automakers more effectively match the pace of the faster-evolving technological world, integrating new technologies more quickly with existing systems.

Perhaps the most difficult obstacle the consortium faces is designing a new, unified system that is less distracting to drivers. Its example photo on its website shows the homescreen of a smartphone output directly to a car's display. While simple, trying to work the small, numerous icons on a smartphone menu while driving could prove more distracting and dangerous than working menus that have been purpose-built for use while driving. The group has a lot of work left to do.

The Car Connectivity Consortium hopes to get additional players like Apple, Google, and/or Sony on board. It plans to detail its work in the coming months, with commercial products being released by members as early as later this year.

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)


Be the first to leave a comment.

Leave A Commment

Allowed HTML tags: <a href=""> <abbr title=""> <b> <em> <i>
Please no link dropping, no keywords or domains as names; do not spam, and do not advertise! rel="nofollow" is in use