Converging clusters – A dramatic impact on the mobility experience

Feb 23, 2018 by Mikael Soderberg


Heads up, automotive manufacturers! The development of the future car is increasing speed – and you need to be ready for the impact. As digitalization increases to adapt to customer demand, you must adopt a powerful tool to survive as we roll forward into the future age of cars.

But first, it’s important to step back and ask, “What determines if your model is a huge hit or a huge flop?” The answer is your customer – and your brand must adapt to their digital life in order to thrive.

Q: What do drivers of future cars want? A: One connected experience

Buyers don’t judge cars just by speed anymore – it’s all about the customer experience. Drivers want to be able to connect easily to the car and feel relaxed in a comfortable, ultra-personalized environment.

To accomplish this feat, the embedded technology in the car must be able to connect with independent smart devices like smartphones and tablets for a single optimized, customized and connected user experience. This concept relates to the idea of being unique – if you want to differentiate your brand and appeal to buyers, it’s a necessity. And you are only unique when the buyer feels the car easily adapts to their already-established digital life.

This means clusters must converge in order to add value – all screens in the car must feel connected, unified and make sense to the user. For example, showing the “who’s calling me” notification on the center cluster – and not on the safety-focused head-up display – feels more natural. Experiences must also be personalized – such as associating a user with certain music, display layouts, or news in a feed. There should also be minimal lag between interactions, such as the ability to show appointments, calls, and prioritized emails simultaneously while the user easily drag and drops documents via holograms during a mobile conference.

Doesn’t that sound complicated? And for that reason, automakers must have a capable reference platform that can handle the complexity of future cars that’s not Android.

Why not Android?

While you could go with Android, that choice comes with disadvantages. Saying “no” to Android makes you the sole customer data owner, improving the structure of the car and its digital environment as a result.

In order to survive in the digital age, you need to be able to improve your designs over time as demand changes and new trends emerge. This can only be done with data – and Android takes that opportunity away. Android owns the data of your customer, anything from payment information, to favorite kinds of music, to how the customer uses the car. With how valuable data is, you can’t lose that opportunity in the competitive realm of Automotive. Keeping up with trends is dire if you don’t want your model to become obsolete.

To look at it from another perspective, you also have to understand that you’re selling emotions to your customers. Buyers will choose the car that makes them feel good, and are not loyal to brand names alone. To understand what works and what doesn’t, you need data that documents both the successes and pitfalls of the different features you implement into the car. Learning from past experiences is key.

The truth is, what you need is data ownership, and this can only be done through a unique technology solution that doesn’t hoard it all for themselves.

Intel ARP – A one-of-a-kind solution

What you need for a successful next-generation digital cockpit is a flexible, scalable platform that supports fast time-to-market, high quality data management, secure connections and is compatible with any hardware you throw at it.

Introducing the Intel Automotive Reference Platform (ARP) – like a high-performing motherboard, it has the ability to handle the power of future vehicles while giving you full ownership of your customers’ data. And the truth is, it’s a one-of-a-kind solution co-developed by Intel and Luxoft – the market has nothing comparable thus far.

Backed by a global community, Intel ARP is an open source platform that has what it takes to adapt to new trends. The technology is flexible, allowing for the addition of new features as they emerge, including updates sent over the air. In addition, you never have to start from scratch every time you need software for a new model – saving loads of time. And designing the instrument cluster, head unit display, cockpit occupant monitoring and driver assistance systems is all possible now in one place, speeding up time-to-market.

Intel ARP allows a driver to connect their smartphone to the car, making the car the central digital platform. This is highly beneficial, because the smartphone is much more advanced than the car – propelling the modern car forward. With the advent of the future car happening as we speak, it has a lot to learn from the smartphone, which has over two decades under its belt. In addition, the platform can host infotainment such as Genivi and Linux, both open source and flexible for new technologies. And then of course, there’s AUTOSAR – which keeps the vehicle safe and secure.

Intrigued? If you’d like to learn more, be sure to meet us at Embedded World 2018.

Mikael Soderberg, Automotive Technology Strategy, Luxoft


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