The global in-car infotainment market is anticipated to grow at a net CAGR of 13.3% during 2016–2022. The market remains challenged on various fronts regarding the availability of secure and seamless internet connection. At present, it generates ample opportunities for content and media developers given the latest increase in the rate of consumption. The widespread use of cloud services extends supplementary support to the growth of the configured vehicles in a connected car network. Choice of personalization, aesthetic deliberations, and the addition of innovative features are some trends that lure the attention of end users and motivates adoption among automakers and auto-parts manufacturers. However, the most significant breakthroughs in the current market would be brought upon by the rise in popularity and adoption of connected car communication facilities.
Infotainment to advertising: The drift
The present in-car infotainment providers need serious differentiation between information, entertainment, and plain distraction. With companies proposing projected screens on the windshield, consumer expectations need to lead to rank among the vendor priorities. Using the windshield as the medium for advertising or digital marketing can in many ways turn the table against the on-road safety concerns, which is the featured advantage of employing internet-of-things in the connected car environment. The proposal in many ways is similar to the heads-up display used for air carriers. The only difference, they are being eyed as a rich medium for advertising of products and services by industries.
Telemetric services provide enough guidance on nearby rest, recharge, food, and fuel stations. The entry of advertising agencies in this channel of business-to-customer communication is inevitable; whether desired or undesired. This may be one of the reasons why the market participants — glass, vehicle, and technology producers, have undertaken proactive measures to be prepared for the strike. From the news that has been received from the sources, developers are already building on the idea to take the screen of iPhone’s smartphones to the windshields.
With the continuous increase in the number of inclusions in the connected car biome, business owners find a diverse volume of viewership. It then becomes easier to identify and isolate their potential consumers from the rest of the group. It is more convenient to finalize the list of targeted consumers based on their frequented routes and destinations. The movement channels would also help several businesses realize which area could make the most use of their entry and vice versa. Each factor combined, the product and service providers have the collective advantage of informing the users and entertaining them with their services while convincing them to be at the receiving end of their business.
Hardware space and complexity reduction
Prior to the advent of windshield advertisements, it is necessary to build a sturdy network defined by standard operating systems and devices. For an industry that is estimated to hit the $33.8 billion mark by 2022 as per recent market intelligence, numerous impending innovations and progressive approaches await their commercial translation. The respective responsibilities are being attended to by communication network providers, semiconductor device manufacturers, and software application developers.
When thousands of exhibitors and industry experts assembled at CES 2017, several staged displays summed up a picture good enough for the upcoming trends in the in-car infotainment market. To begin with, the NXP Semiconductors N.V. announced the SAF400, which as reported by the company is the world’s first completely integrated, software-defined radio solution. The specialized architecture of this single-chip radio frequency complementary metal oxide semiconductor (RFCMOS) device is designed to support the global broadcast audio standards. These standards include AM, FM, DAB+, DRM(+), and HD.
At present, the company plans to market it as the super-compact in-car infotainment alternative solution to the multi-modular platforms. It is the downsized and upgraded version of the high-performance entertainment systems, which consume excessive space and power. SAF4000 has been software-defined for functional architecture that uses the end-of-line firmware update for reduced cost and complexity as compared to the integration of multiple hardware components and software implementations.
Getting future-ready for connected environment
During the same conference, Panasonic, Qualcomm, and Google proposed a collaborative venture to leverage Android-based standalone system for an integrated in-car infotainment module. The Android 7.0 Nougat would be used as the standard operating system to run the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820Am processor. The integrated unit would combine hardware, LTE modem, and an operating system that can be customized by the vehicle owner or automakers as per requirement or taste. The developers vaunt the competitive edge the system being based on Android, as neither its fashion, usability, or employability is going to experience a downward trend in near future.
Panasonic Corporation has proliferated its functional contribution in the smart mobility solutions and vehicular infotainment systems with its recent CityNOW Project. The Japanese techno-giant went ahead to introduce one-of-its-kind vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication system for effective traffic management, where “everything” is applicable to each component whether a vehicle, its driver, the signal posts, road signs, and of course, in-built infotainment systems. Autonomous vehicles with revamped interiors and seating arrangement that allows for auxiliary entertainment designs were also a part of the company’s exhibit. From what is evident, next-generation mobility and connectivity solutions are on its top priority. Without exceptions, the case remains standard for leading players in the global in-car infotainment market.
By Amanika Kumari
Anamika Kumari has pursued her Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, and is certified in industrial automation. She is deeply fascinated by the impact of modern technology on human life and the earth at large. Being a voracious reader, passionate writer, and a critical observer of market dynamics, she has a strong taste for the hidden science behind all arts.