Let’s imagine a fine day where a family is travelling to a picnic spot in a car. Music and movies will keep the kids entertained and when they need a change of song or movie, they just swipe through the air towards the display of the infotainment module. Meanwhile, the driver on the other hand can now ensure that they are travelling on the right path and at the right speed without taking his eyes off the road, even to glance at the GPS.
INNOVATIONS AT EMBITEL: ENGINEERING CONCEPTS TO REALITY
Creativity and scalability drive innovation. Innovation at Embitel is truly an outcome of being able to design solutions by leveraging cross-functional expertise of embedded, cloud and mobility teams. Embitel strives to ensure that it is working on state-of-the-art technologies and present solutions that are relevant for their global customers.
While discussing innovations at Embitel with Vidya Sagar, who heads Connected Car and Automation-related initiatives, an interesting story of how innovative concepts that should be engineered to business reality unfolded.
BRINGING LIFE INTO THE SYSTEM
About 6 years ago the engineers at Embitel found the need for an In-Vehicle Infotainment System which would bundle the media requirements of drivers and passengers. At that time, most people where enthralled by the introduction of Android based smartphones. These smart phones housed operating functionalities that fulfilled all their media and connectivity requirements with an interactive GUI.
As the flares of ideas grew brighter, teams at Embitel realised that they must build their infotainment system around Android OS due to its open-source nature and easy integration with third-party stacks. Past expertise and in-depth analysis where taken into account and the project for creating an automotive multimedia application took shape.
In the long run this decision proved to be a viable business case. Embitel’s product engineering services team successfully delivered an automotive infotainment system in the year 2014 to a Tier-I supplier.
THE IN-CAR INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM
• The system is designed on Freescale’s i.MX6 platform and Android 4.2.2
• Stock Android was modified to suit the In-vehicle infotainment (IVI) application
• Smartphone pairing has been done through Bluetooth profiles to access phone contacts & phone apps, receive/make calls through dash-board, access phone messages & external multimedia/radio systems
• System is integrated with other on-board ECUs to fetch vehicle data for diagnostics
• This IVI system has Instrument Clusters & Virtual Gauges that fetch vehicle data through CAN networks
THE ANSWER TO “WHAT’S NEXT?”
Towards the fag end of the Infotainment project, the teams involved asked themselves a rather simple and regular question – “How can these features be designed better to add more value to the end-users? How can we further improve the driving experience?”
Amidst all these discussions and research, the teams started toying with the idea of more sophisticated display that also enhances the safety. A return to the sketch board showed that there were few after-market Head-up display (HUD) products and most of them had a cluttered and user-unfriendly UI design.
Leveraging the experience of the Infotainment project, Embitel developed a clutter-free and user-friendly hardware and software design of Car HUD.