- The automotive industry has been engaged in a large debate over the last
few years regarding the various choices for operating systems, and in
particular the emergence of more open OS solutions such as Android.
- However, there is a larger change occurring about the role of software in
the connected car and the emergence of a new breed of software and integration
- This report will provide a holistic analysis of software in the head-unit,
including operating systems, middleware and GUI interfaces.
- The report will include a benchmark for how different vehicle
manufacturers are making the transition towards a flexible software-based
head-unit, and will also analyse the value chains required to support this
The right answer requires OEMs to carefully balance the sometimes conflicting
needs of two groups:
App developers - The much coveted 'app community' is what mobile
handset vendors have used within the CE industry to help make their platforms
more appealing to users. Whilst it is widely accepted that an automotive app
community will be much smaller, the needs of in-car app developers must still
be considered when choosing an OS platform. At a high-level, these needs can
be summarized in three words: Volumes, Simplicity and Functionality. App
developers are inherently attracted to platforms that attract larger
audiences, platforms that require minimum re-development of their apps and
platforms that enable apps to leverage the full functionality of embedded
OEMs - Traditionally, the software needs of the automotive industry
could be summarized in another three words: Security, Reliability and
Affordability. Whilst these are still amongst the most commonlyused words
within the automotive industry, other priorities are also starting to emerge
as part of the transition towards app-based platforms. Speed of innovation is
required in order to keep up with the rapidly-moving CE world. Flexible
sourcing is also becoming a priority for some OEMs, as they aim to break-up
the traditional role of Tier-one suppliers by separating software from
hardware, and even consider bringing in more software development inhouse.
So how should automotive players choose between downloadable and web-based
apps, let alone whether to go with Android, Genivi, Microsoft, QNX or any
other OS? In reality no single OS solution is capable of meeting all of the
needs mentioned above, so a good starting point is to prioritise which of
these needs are most important to your business. A second step is to move away
from the traditional 'all-ornothing' strategies, and to embrace a more diverse
platform that potentially supports different OSs for different types of apps
(leveraging virtual machines). Finally, it is important to remember that
drivers don't care about Genivi, Android or even HTML5, they care about the
end-user experience. So regardless of the needs of app developers or OEMs,
make sure that the end-user experience remains your first priority and that
your OS strategy compliments rather than damages this.
This report analyses the key factors, OEM trends and provides a future outlook based on the options faced by OEMs in developing app platforms.
- Apps can either be downloaded or web-based.
- There are a number of implementation options.
- There are several possible software configurations.
- Which factors are relevant to each choice, and how does each solution
- What are the current strategies being adopted by OEMs and tier-1
- What are the future trends for each of the available approaches?