By: Sivakumar Yeddanapudi
At Visteon, our global engineering, design and manufacturing teams are constantly striving to improve the cockpit user experience – making the car an intuitive, interactive and connected device on wheels.
This means delivering the same technology to drivers and passengers that they are used to enjoying on their smartphones and touchscreen tablets, while establishing safe parameters for drivers to navigate screens without excessive distraction. Cutting-edge solutions in the auto space are turning desirable functions into reality, with users increasingly able to “talk” to their vehicles and letting buttons “push” themselves.
At Visteon, we are challenging ourselves to contribute to this organic and evolving environment and make driving more engaging and exciting – providing the platform for every journey to be fun, convenient and safe.
We believe a high-performance infotainment system has the potential to fulfil our vision of connected driving. Currently, most in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems have a limited variety of apps that can be brought in from a phone – with usability constricted by small displays, disabled functionalities, and poor scaling of screen projection, contributing to a limited user experience.
However, smartphones aren’t the adversaries of IVI systems. We see them as valuable assets that form the foundation of functional, capable and high-performance platforms that enhance the time we spend in our vehicles. We are taking what smartphone developers have achieved to the next level for automotive by boosting the convenience and level of choice that smartphones add to the driving experience and minimizing the risks they bring to everyday driving scenarios.
Among a crowd of competitors racing to deliver the ultimate smart solution for the industry, Android has emerged and taken the high ground in automotive. Now geared with Visteon’s capable, customizable and efficient infotainment platform, Android systems possess enhanced versatility and flexibility – empowered to meet the needs of a wide range of in-car requirements.
Visteon’s platform-based Android-based infotainment system launched with Volkswagen Brazil operates on the latest version of Android OS, carries a huge collection of downloadable apps and in-car voice assistant, and can be extended to any display size and cockpit complexity.
The system carries a broad variety of our favorite apps, including Spotify and Waze. The selection also caters to regional preferences, with Brazil-based apps available to local consumers. When launched in global regions, consumers will be able to download a different, tailored selection of apps from their local platform.
When it comes to contemporary IVI systems, Visteon doesn’t just add Android apps to the platform. We refine, scale and adapt standard Android apps for in-vehicle use. Optimizing the interface for every app to prevent distorted scale or low-resolution visuals, Visteon enables most functionalities to be accessed through both soft keys and steering wheel buttons. This helps users more safely interact with the apps while keeping their eyes on the road. Visteon’s infotainment system provides a truly immersive experience and an appealing interface similar to the latest Android smartphones.
Our new infotainment system supports complete customization with limited software development – fully scalable from entry-level audio infotainment to the most advanced multi-display cockpit domain controller. Customers have the ability to keep the system appearance consistent across different models, but still differentiates them from one another simply by changing fonts, scaling dimensions and adjusting UI colors. One chipset provides limitless variations.
Visteon also extends the personalization experience to consumers, who can set their own skins and adopt their own in-car preferences through other customizable features. Even if a vehicle has multiple profiles, the system can store and switch to different displays to cater to whichever particular user hops into the driver’s seat.
While we constantly strive to improve the in-car experience with upgrades and updates to the infotainment system, we are also challenging ourselves to lower production cost, which will allow this innovative technology to be more widely available on the mass market.
Finally, another capability guaranteed to improve the driving experience is our Say ‘N Serve voice assistant. Working seamlessly in tandem with popular voice assistants like Alexa and Siri, Say ‘N Serve arbitrates effortlessly between different platforms. It’s designed to detect a human voice in a noisy car environment and process it within multi-intent and multi-level context. It can understand various accents, languages and even speakers. With the help of Say ‘N Serve, drivers can keep their hands on the wheel and let the virtual assistant perform tasks.
Visteon’s calendar for the next two years is marked with Android infotainment launches across the world. As we continue to improve and perfect the system, we hope to upgrade your driving experience, taking significant strides toward the kind of smart driving we promised and the industry projects for the future.
Sivakumar Yeddanapudi is a platform leader managing Visteon’s global infotainment programs. He also develops IVI platforms that incorporate the latest technologies such as advanced HTML5 HMI frameworks, web browsers, cybersecurity, reflash over-the-air and vision processing for cockpit electronics. He has more than 15 years of automotive experience and served as software developer, technical professional for audio and infotainment software, and now as platform leader, located at Visteon’s headquarters in Van Buren Township, Mich., U.S.