So why does all the cool stuff happen when I'm on vacation? Last Friday, while I was driving to the cottage, Elektrobit announced that QNX Software Systems has been chosen to provide the operating system and multimedia engine for MIB High, the next-generation infotainment platform for Audi vehicles.
Let's rewind for a minute. To stay relevant, automakers must create cars that integrate with the multitude of smartphones, tablets, and mobile services that have become standard equipment for day-to-day life. In fact, many consumers won't even look at a new car unless it provides such integration. Problem is, the traditional development cycles for building in-car electronic systems lag far behind those for the mobile market — years compared to months.
That's why I find the MIB High so fascinating. On the hardware level, it consists of two main modules: the Radio&Car Control Unit (RCC) and the multimedia unit (MMX). The RCC implements features that remain stable over time, such as interfaces to the automotive CAN bus. The MMX, on the other hand, implements features subject to change, such as navigation, connectivity, and multimedia. By leveraging this modular approach, the system's developers can "carry out partial re-development to react more quickly to customer requirements and changing consumer electronics, getting them into vehicles on a shorter cycle."
It's an innovative approach. More importantly, it can help the connected car stay connected. Good, that.
For more information, read the Elektrobit press release. Among other things, the release contains details on the new business model created by Audi, Elektrobit, and e.solutions, the developer of MIB High.