Infotainment platform integrates driver assistant functions

August 28, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
At the upcoming International Automotive show (IAA), automotive supplier Continental will introduce an infotainment platform with unseen capability of integrating many services and driver assistant functions. The platform also connects the vehicle to cloud-based information services - and brings the content to the driver's smartphone.

Continental's platform makes use of the Linux-based in-vehicle infotainment operating system GENIVI. Thus, it can run standard-based apps to implement all kinds of functions. Continental plans to demonstrate online services, comfort functions, and downloadable apps. It enables the integration of driver assistance functions that utilize a 360° surround-view camera system. In addition, it contains an LTE module that serves as the basis to integrate mobile applications such as Nokia's 3D navigation HERE that also provides location-based services.

Continental's 360° surround view system utilizes four or more cameras inside the vehicle and creates virtual images of the vehicle and its surroundings. These images are depicted at the platform's screen. The user can change the perspective and even change to the bird's view to facilitate safe and easy parking manoeuvres. In line with Continental's announcements to deploy Ethernet, the system connects the cameras my means of unshielded twisted pair (UTP) Ethernet connections to the infotainment platform. Besides cameras and the infotainment system, no additional components are required, the company says; the entire processing takes place inside this box.

The LTE module enables the user to even transmit the camera image to a smartphone. Thus, the owner can check at any time what is happening around his vehicle.

The platform also runs Nokia's navigation system HERE. Using this service, users can identify and compile navigation targets, route preferences or similar data on his smartphone or tablet computer and transfer these data to the vehicle. Thanks to open APIs, OEMs and third parties can implement their own location-based applications.

The platform also can connect to data stored in the cloud, for example the driver's personal music store. An HTML5 portal provides access to many apps. In contrast to the usual smartphone apps, the programs downloadable from this portal feature a user interface optimized for automotive use. Support of the MirrorLink technology enables the infotainment platform to replicate the smartphone display's content and control his