CES 2018: the year automotive and entertainment collide

In 2017, the automotive industry showed heavy investment in advanced connectivity and this year’s CES has already confirmed that there is more to come. According to the TU-Automotive “Keeping Entertained in the Autonomous Vehicle” report – which features our VP Product Management Robert Guest – “the global in-vehicle entertainment market will reach a total market value of $52.2bn by 2022”, making it one of the most attractive sides of the industry to get involved in.

For us, the show featured a lot of exciting news with these highlights to report on behalf of ACCESS:

The GENIVI showcase reception event (January 9 at the Bellagio Hotel) enabled us to share our vision for the future of connected infotainment services with some of you – and we hope to have more conversations on the topic with you all throughout the year.

Furthermore, during CES we were able to share this vision with multiple OEMs and Tier 1s by discussing how our solutions help them navigate the evolution of auto tech, including:

  • ACCESS Twine™ for Car (Twine4Car) combines secure media distribution technology with our flexible multimedia content service for OEMs, bridging the gap between the automotive and the content industries. It increases the safety, comfort and flexibility in content consumption for drivers and passengers. Through ACCESS Twine™ for Car, we act as the single point of contact for the OEM for all types of content to ease-up the realization of state-of-the-art streaming services for cars.
  • Our high performance NetFront™ Browser, a key component of the ACCESS Twine™ for Car solution which also provides support for standardized HTML5 environments for applications, streaming media and Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs).

Finally, the show was an opportunity for us to provide attendees with our new ebook “Gearing up for an IoT-enabled automotive world”, which you can download from our website.

If you’re still wondering how to tackle the connectivity revolution in the car, get in touch with us.

Still need a bit of time to make up your mind?


Looking forward to discussing how we can help you this year.

New ebook: Gearing up for an IoT-enabled automotive world

The in-vehicle infotainment market keeps garnering exciting headlines and for good reason. Electric vehicles, autonomous driving and smart cities are all receiving significant investment, and the revolution towards a more automated, connected future is moving up a gear.

However, there is a lot of work to be done.

To help OEMs and Tier 1s navigate the twists and turns of today’s automotive industry, we have produced an ebook that looks at the long and exciting journey – with many technological stops along the way – that will take us from today’s reality to this vision. Starting from the current state of the market, we look at the impact in-car connectivity is already having on the market: from solving the BYOD vs. embedded conundrum, to adopting open standards and engaging the consumer. Looking ahead, we also cover the advent of the Internet of Things and how it will transform the automotive industry.

CES 2018 is upon us and, once again, will set the agenda for the next generation of in-vehicle services. Our main stop will be the GENIVI Reception at CES 2018 (January 9, Bellagio Hotel), where we will be available for discussions and demonstrations of our solutions ACCESS Twine™ and the NetFront™ Browser family. We are always interested in comparing visions for connected infotainment services and contrasting it with ours, detailed in our ebook.

If you would like to discuss the points we’re raising in our ebook, please contact automotive@access-company.com to book an appointment with us in Vegas. We’re looking forward to seeing you as we kick-start the year!

CES 2017: taking connectivity to the next stage

Beyond the myriad of smartphones, fridges, drones and robots, CES offers an annual reminder as to why technology is such a fantastic area of business: by combining creativity with efficiency, we can provide new services that improve our everyday lives in a heartbeat. Yet, it’s important to remember that each of these fabulous new products have required months of development, testing and design to be shown on the Las Vegas show floor – and of course, better connectivity, which has become the crux of technological innovation. Reflecting on this, we are proud to see the level of innovation that we have witnessed in automotive and video at the show:

TV: shinier displays and better integrated solutions
In our CES Preview blog, we reminisced about the evolution of TV over the past 50 years. The days of the black and white, one-channel screen are long gone. Instead, our digital lives are coming to a screen near you, thanks to greater connectivity, sharper contrasts and better forms of integration.

Our main focus at CES was on new services such as NVidia’s The Shield, an Android-powered TV box supporting YouTube in 4K, Netflix in HDR and access to Google Play movies, Amazon Video and games streaming.

As strong believers in the idea that content sources need to be made accessible to consumers in an easy, centralised way, we are very excited about this new advance in aggregated media libraries. Our mission is to enable operators to offer best in class experiences across multiple devices and content sources through products like ACCESS Twine™, regardless of the hardware and infrastructure to deliver this content to the consumer.

Operators that want to ensure that consumers stay within their branded environment for all their media needs will need to combine quality content catalogues with content aggregation and data collection for analytics features within their apps. By using solutions that also support secure media re-distribution across all platforms and HTML5 powered experiences for HbbTV and other current standards, operators can deliver immersive experiences to subscribers on the beautiful displays showcased at CES.

Automotive: concept cars galore
Since the advent of connectivity in the car, CES has been the place to go to discover first hand the latest announcements, concept cars and products in the automotive space, an industry that is reported to weigh about 25% of all activity at CES. While the traditional players showed their innovations, like e.g. BMW’s BMWi Inside Future gave visitors to the show a glance at the future of its autonomous fleet, Mercedes’ EQ’s 24-inch display confirmed that connectivity and User Experience were at the core of its future ambitions.  Besides that, upcoming players showed their new products and concepts. A particularly prominent one is Faraday Future, which was founded in 2014 to rival Tesla. At CES, Faraday Futures presented its FF91 electric vehicle, slated to ship in 2018.

What we found particularly interesting however is the combination of consumer electronics and the automotive industry going one step further with the integration of Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, Alexa, inside Ford’s SYNC 3-enabled cars. This integration will provide advanced features like weathering updates, locking or starting the car remotely. Others, like BMW, Nissan and Toyota, are investing in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to better assist drivers as we transit from our current, driver-centric industry to the far away driverless future.

CES was also a perfect opportunity for us to reunite with other members of the GENIVI Alliance, and to showcase our solutions for the automotive sector: ACCESS Twine™ Car and our HTML5-based NetFront™ Browser family. These solutions enable car infotainment to support media distribution for Head-Units, Rear-Seat Entertainment and Bring-Your-Own-Devices as well as HTML5 based browsing and applications. Centralized control, general usage data creation and complementary cloud components to manage users, devices, content metadata and usage data enable easy service integrations. This provides manufacturers and Tier 1s with readily available solutions to enrich custom in-vehicle infotainment systems.

If you’ve missed us at the show but would like to know more about our solutions, please contact automotive@access-company.com (Automotive) or tv@access-company.com (Video). Alternatively, head to our website for more information.

CES 2017: 50 years of automotive and TV innovation

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is turning 50 in 2017, which gives us a perfect opportunity to look back on how the automotive and video worlds have evolved.

TV: from one channel to TV Everywhere

Younger readers of our blog might not remember it, but back in the 1970s, watching TV was a lot less diverse than today. Germany was divided into two separate countries with radically different TV cultures and the rest of Europe consisted almost entirely of public broadcasters, with British TV airing just three channels: BBC1, BBC2 and ITV. Today, each consumer can access a plethora of channels from a number of sources (cable, IP, Over-The-Top, satellite, terrestrial) and across an incredibly wide range of topics such as sports, news, reality TV and TV series.

In addition, the rise of new video sources like YouTube and the move that social media platforms are turning into smaller scale broadcasters is providing viewers with access to even more content. This in turn has led to the requirement for good quality Electronic Programme Guides (EPGs) and search engine, as well as a need for better user experience solutions.

While this may come as a surprise to many, even though there wasn’t much variety in the content people had access to back in the 1970s, the Video Cassette Recorder (VCR) was born in that era. An incredibly viral video last year showed that children today have no clue how this device works anymore, which demonstrates that we are indeed in a completely digital era for consumption, storage and security. Today, viewers use the cloud to store their content, restart a programme exactly where they left it off and appreciate lifelike details using Ultra HD and High Dynamic Range (HDR) ready TVs.

We are very excited to see that our product portfolio is at the intersection of these technologies, enabling broadcasters and operators to offer state-of-the-art experiences across multiple devices and content sources. ACCESS Twine™ provides content aggregation & data collection for analytics features that can be easily integrated within operator-powered apps to ensure that consumers stay within the operator’s branded environment for all their media needs. Our solution also facilitates secure media re-distribution across all platforms, including support for state-of-the-art end-to-end DRM and DLNA® VidiPath™. Our NetFront™ Browser family also enables a seamless HTML5 powered experience across all screens – from smartphones and tablets through to the next generation TV screens. ACCESS’ solutions include WebKit-based NetFront™ Browser NX and Chromium-based NetFront™ Browser BE, both available as HbbTV editions.

Automotive: 50 years preparing for the driverless car?

‘The Car’, a thriller about a rogue driverless car committing murders in a remote area of the US, was released back in 1977. While the evil machine trope wasn’t new in any way, it shows how far back we started thinking that our cars would drive themselves one day. Cars today may be smart, capable of parking themselves and towing each other, but the days of the fully autonomous, driverless car are still a few years away as the industry solves fundamental challenges of security and passenger experience.

The automotive revolution is moving up a gear and we’re proud to be an active player in one of the most exciting areas of technology today, such as In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI). We are now preparing for the next wave of technology innovation that will be presented on the show floor and discussed in a number of tracks, including Automotive and personal mobility, Connect2Car and Vehicle Technology.

We have been involved in the movement towards more connectivity and entertainment in the car for a number of years, working with OEMs and Tier 1s alike to build the in-vehicle infotainment experiences of the future. Using standards-based proprietary solutions, we are opening the door to seamless solutions that can be accessed directly via the head unit or the driver’s own mobile device plugged into the car for a truly personal feel.

As members of the GENIVI Alliance, we will be showcasing how ACCESS Twine™ for automotive and our HTML5-based NetFront™ Browser family enable car infotainment to support 2- and 3-way media sharing for Head-Units, Rear-Seat Entertainment and Bring-Your-Own-Devices, HTML5 based browsing, control, applications and media re-distribution playback together with usage data creation and cloud components for easy service integrations.

We hope you are as excited about what the future holds for TV Everywhere and IVI as we are, and we look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas! To register to meet with us at the GENIVI Networking Reception at CES 2017, contact automotive@access-company.com.

Three key trends for the connected car

We recently attended the GENIVI All Members Meeting and the TU Automotive conference which reinforced the fact that the automotive sector is an absolute hub of innovation. As connectivity continues to become more and more important, three key trends stood out as critical for the automotive market in 2017.


1.    Solutions that evolve with the times

The mobile era has transformed consumer expectations, and has created an appetite for new features to be added on an on-going basis, which means that there is a pressure to “unlock” the in-car infotainment environment as well as a requirement to reduce time for the introduction of new functionality. This is putting increasing pressure on OEMs and Tier 1s to keep up with rapidly evolving technologies while simultaneously reducing costs.  By outsourcing, OEMS and Tier 1s can reduce operational costs and provide consumers with systems that are scalable and robust.

Our software has been deployed in over 1.5 billion devices ranging from cars, smartphones and tablets through to game consoles and smart TVs, which means that we are well placed to support OEMs and Tier 1s by providing solutions that enhance the in-car infotainment experience.


2.    Increased support for Industry Standards

OEMs and Tier 1s are striving to maintain a meaningful relationship with their customers and differentiating their cars through the power and ease-of-use of the in-car infotainment solutions. This has resulted in manufacturers taking their own road to the connected car by utilising their own proprietary software, such as BMW Drive, GM OnStar, and Ford Sync. At TU Automotive we saw manufacturers resolving the fragmentation caused by this approach by combining proprietary software with open source software. We see support for all relevant industry standards as critical in promoting the seamless interoperability between devices that consumers expect.

At ACCESS, we pride ourselves on being a pioneer in infotainment system development and consultancy. Working closely with relevant standards organizations, in technology, media and automotive, such as the GENIVI Alliance and the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) ensures that we can provide globally deployable solutions.

We are excited about where the connected car is going in 2017, in January we’ll be kicking off the year by heading to CES to showcase our latest solutions to everyone involved in providing cutting-edge solutions for automotive infotainment.


3.    BYOD unlocks the next level of car infotainment

With infotainment becoming a key differentiator in the car buying process OEMs and Tier 1s are concentrating hard on providing consumers with high quality infotainment systems that provide a range of entertainment and multimedia options for passengers and drivers. Consumers have become accustomed to constant connectivity in all walks of life and the car is no different.

Last year, at CES we saw that panoramic screens were a big trend for the connected car, but this year at TU Automotive we noticed increased support for the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture.  With an increasing number of consumers viewing mobile devices as an extension of themselves, OEMs and Tier 1s are ensuring that their infotainment systems integrate easily with personal devices, empowering passengers to use their own devices to access maps, music, news and trip specific information.

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