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In-vehicle infotainment – an emerging trend

According to Guru Ganesan, Managing Director, ARM India,”lVI systems are now aiming to provide customers with a complete connected car experience. So, constant connectivity is something that is gaining much more importance now”Please give us an overview of the automotive infotainment industry in India.According to this year’s study by ABI Research, shipments of connected automotive infotainment systems will grow from 9 million in 2013 to more than 62 million in 2018. Connected navigation, multimedia streaming, social media, and in-car Wi-Fi hotspots are becoming key features.The Indian market is even considered to be one of the largest markets for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI). IVI is no longer limited to premium vehicles. Today, even entry-level and medium range vehicles come equipped with IVI panels that include navigation systems and wireless connectivity.How is the current demand pattern within automotive OEMs?The demand from OEMs is extremely encouraging. Most OEMs continue to focus on integrating their vehicles with future-proofed, seamlessly connected infotainment systems. IVI systems are now aiming to provide customers with a complete connected car experience. So, constant connectivity is something that is gaining much more importance now.Despite sales falling in the automotive sector locally, a key differentiator influencing buying decisions includes in-vehicle infotainment. What is your comment in this regard?Absolutely! Indians are feeling the need to be connected at all times; the need for digital empowerment. Content will play a huge role; localisation of content and catering to local preferences will be critical.With the introduction of modern IVI technologies, how it’s making an impact over automotive OEM’s business?Pricing will play a key role. It is important for OEMs to ensure that in-vehicle infotainment systems are cost-effective. It is important to have a good understanding of the Indian customer’s needs and cater accordingly. Studies reveal that IVI today plays a key role in a customer’s decision-making. With automakers constantly striving to differentiate their products, we will continue to see IVI technologies creating a strong impact on industry growth.What are the challenges that OEMs and the IVI segment are facing today?One of the main challenges with infotainment is how to match the experience in the vehicle to that which users enjoy on their smartphones. People are now familiar with touch screens and the occasional system reboot on a phone. A vehicle system has significantly different reliability and safety constraints. In cars, touch screen interfaces can be replaced with voice interaction and in-car controls to manage content.What are the products and solutions you offer under this segment? Tell us about your clientele.One of ARM’s main focuses in this space is to create a common set of software building blocks that can be used by all ARM partners. ARM is a board member of the Genivi consortium, which focuses on standardising Linux tools and distributions of the operating system, enabling car manufacturers and their suppliers to focus on their areas of value add, which is typically around the user interface. One of ARM’s strong beliefs is in encouraging choice at all levels of the value chain. Therefore, ARM fully supports the activities of QNX and its ecosystem (currently the largest IVI solution as measured by deployed platforms) and Microsoft’s initiatives in this area.A wide range of ARM products are deployed in this space – from Application Processors such as the Cortex-A9 and Cortex-A15 to our Mali-400 GPU – from our security technology TrustZone to our system IP technologies.Which is the particular market segment you are looking at?The proliferation of the ARM architecture in mobile applications has led to the availability of many ingredients necessary to building energy-efficient, extremely low cost telematics and infotainment platforms. ARM is investing with its partners to standardise the basic software building blocks, to enable the car manufacturers and their suppliers to focus on areas of value add and differentiation around the user interface. We are heading towards a future that incorporates simpler user interfaces in the car that provide seamless access to content as a driver moves from their home, to the car and to the workplace.

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