At CES 2015, cars of the future took the center stage. It was very interesting to note that the focus was on mobility in automobiles.
We decided to get some more clarity about Infotainment, ADAS, Telematics and future of Connected Car as part of IoT environment.
Hence we got in touch with Aneesh and Zach from Embitel Technologies in Bangalore, to get some insights on future car innovations and how automotive electronics is contributing in fuelling these innovations.
What will cars look like in future?
Aneesh : ‘Cars of the future’, well Mark Fields’s, CEO of Ford Motor Co, statement at CES 2015 strikes all the right chords in this context. He said “We’re thinking of ourselves as a mobility company and not only a car and truck company”.
This is exactly how cars will be – a smart mobile device, a smart computer with 4 wheels. Examples of mobility and connectivity within automobiles are plenty; Connected Car is going to be one of the very essential components of Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem.
Infotainment system helps you stay connected online – access your apps, phone contacts, make/receive calls, access navigation maps through dashboard and voice recognition feature, that mitigates distraction.
Telematics solutions are revolutionizing fleet management & vehicle insurance status quo. Connected cars enabled with vehicle to vehicle (V2V), vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) communications are set to make driverless car journeys a reality.
And with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), the top priority of driver’s safety is setting new benchmarks for itself resulting in the enhanced safety of the lives on the roads.
In a nutshell, Automotive Industry has been witnessing the confluence of consumer electronics & connectivity technologies within the car for some time now. With some very crucial announcements at CES 2015, this confluence is set to hit the next gear and technology companies like us have a crucial role to play in helping to deliver these features to end-users at realistic prices.
That’s very interesting indeed; would you please elaborate on the role of Technology Partners like Embitel within this ecosystem?
Aneesh: As it is evident that the nature of the newage features being offered within the cars (infotainment, telematics, FOTA/SOTA and more) is very similar to consumer electronic devices.
Hence increasingly this is also influencing the development cycles within the automotive industry and its aftermarket offerings.
The ambitious road-maps of the OEMs’, Suppliers and ODMs’ of the aftermarkets can be realized only by overcoming the constraints of time-to market and costs.
This is where the offshore engagements, the indepth domain knowledge and expertise of technology partners like Embitel play a very critical role.
The OEMs’, Suppliers and aftermarket ODMs’ have mastered the production and assembly line; they understand the needs of their target audience.
However, now there are more than million lines of software code running within some 50-80 ECUs’.
These are absolutely critical for that engine to fire and that adrenaline rush to kick-in, on ignition.
As technology consulting partners, we collaborate with our global clients on the software side to help reduce the critical time-to-market and costs and deliver memorable journeys to their end customers.
This confluence for sure is showing many far-reaching impacts. Now let’s talk about those million lines of code, so what are the innovations happening in Automotive Electronics?
Aneesh: If we trace-back the roots of electronics in automotive, it all started with the need to control the engines. The journey from Engine Control Units (ECU) to Electronic Control Units (ECU) has been indeed fascinating.
Innovations in automotive electronics gradually spread wings to transmission control, functional safety, and emission control.
Now we have reached the stage where electronics is the enabler of driver comfort and safety, multimedia applications, infotainment, and other internet connectivity solutions for telematics,.. It is also helping build remote vehicle diagnostics solutions.
The backbone that has been supporting this success is the enhanced storage capacity of the semiconductor memories and embedded multimedia cards along with a very efficient design method of Model Based Development (MBD).
Using this approach of MBD, a design model of an ECU system is generated in a graphical form. Post which code is auto generated after verifying the function in the virtual mode, leaving minimal scope for hardware related issues.
These models are highly optimized and the customer benefits from reduction in cost, time & improved quality.
Also, it is essential to mention that various Automotive Industry standards like AUTOSAR, ISO26262 (functional safety standard) have also contributed in making the SDLC a robust and value-add process for the customers.
Thank you for sharing this information with us Aneesh. Zach this final question is for you, what are your views on Connected Car and IoT, how do you see yourselves adding value here?
Zach: In context of the IoT ecosystem, a Car is a “Thing”, a connected mobile device that would be identified with the help of an assigned IP address.
This seamless connectivity and flow of accumulated data to and from the vehicle is opening up doors for building features that make connected car a very essential component of the IoT environment. The Smart Cars of the future are being designed to sense and understand the roads and traffic conditions, communicate with other vehicles and infrastructure (V2V, V2I) and help take better decisions or even take autonomous decisions (M2M) for the safety of drivers and pedestrians.
All this is made possible by innovations in sensor networking technologies and protocols, in-vehicle network communications, cloud-data infrastructure, mobility and wireless connectivity technologies.
Embitel as a technology partner has an experience of over 8 years of working with OEMs’, Suppliers and aftermarket ODMs’. We bring to the table the in-depth automotive domain knowledge and cutting-edge technology skill-sets of our engineering talent.
We collaborate with our clients to make their systems and processes IoT enabled. To be more specific we specialize in all of the following essential building blocks:
– Design & development of IoT gateway software modules
– Project experience with protocols like ZigBee, ModBus, Profinet, EtherCat and wireless technologies like 3G, Wi-fi, Bluetooth, LTE
– Integration of Cloud based services
– Mobility expertise: Design & development of end user Apps and OEM specific App store for infotainment systems. Engineering talent with project experience in Android, iOS, Windows OS and HTML5, QT for native and cross-platform based HMI.
Aneesh – Aneesh Adkadkam is Head of Automotive Product Engineering Services (PES) at Embitel. Aneesh is an industry veteran with more than 12 years of experience in embedded automotive domain.
In depth understanding of Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) & Quality Management Systems
(QMS) along with extensive experience in managing cross-functional teams across geographies, have enabled Aneesh deliver projects of global scale & size.
Zach – Zach Ninan is Head of the Competency Center at Embitel . Zach has more than 12 years of experience in Embedded Software technologies. The Competency Center is responsible for development of innovative Mobility solutions for Embitel’s Customers.
Zach’s team is the torch bearer of Embitel’s technology vision and functions as the internal R&D department of the organization. This team has been actively involved in developing Cross Platform applications, IVI, Cloud, Augmented reality and IoT based solutions and POC’s
“Delivered with Passion” – an experience which our customers & partners have shared with us for more than 8 years of business collaboration & success. Embitel is a product engineering services company with a unique combination of German quality standards & highly efficient offshore/onsite project management & delivery processes.
Embitel has business presence in US, Germany, Sweden, France & UK and corporate offices in India, US and Germany.