Why a hybrid approach is vital to future-proofing your in-car entertainment system

The pace of change in software development is incredibly fast, and it’s becoming increasingly complex. As cars become more software-focused, the need to update car software regularly will increase. It will become as natural as updating software on a smartphone. This need will be even more acute in in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) and in-car entertainment, which are growing in influence on purchasing decisions. In this blog, I’ll outline what this means in practice.

Evolution of in-car entertainment

The evolution of in-car entertainment is progressing rapidly, which is a new experience for automotive OEMs and Tier 1s. For decades, a fixed FM radio device was the only form of entertainment they needed to install. Then cassette players came to the fore, and they lasted a decade or so before CD players, then DAB radio became commonplace. All these examples required installation of the relevant piece hardware when the car was manufactured, but after that, OEMs and Tier 1s didn’t need to do anything – there were no updates required once the car left the production line.

But now we’re in a connected world which brings great opportunities for services, but also some threats that were not a concern before. The priority is streaming audio, with video waiting in the wings to take centre stage when every car comes with one or more multi-use screens.

The car lifecycle clashes with connected services

Meanwhile, operating systems have been through their own evolution and at a much faster pace than in-car entertainment. From Windows CE and QNX, to Linux and now Android (with fragmented variants based on AOSP, the open-source variant that OEMs can take, adapt and modify as they need). Streaming is becoming a key buying criterion for cars, with 63% of drivers rating in-car entertainment as one of the car’s most important features, according to The PwC Digital Auto Report in 2020. For OEMs and Tier 1s to meet this demand, automotive and software development timelines need to come together.

But car development is very slow, especially when compared to software and streaming services. For example, take the projected lifecycle of an electric vehicle (EV). Batteries are expected to last around 7 years once the car hits the road. However, the development phase of the vehicle typically takes 2-3 years before that. So, OEMs are preparing cars today that will be on the road in 10 years’ time. This is a long time in the world of connected services, and the software and content landscape could look completely different by then.

To put this in perspective, 10 years ago, you probably hadn’t heard of Spotify – and Android was at version 3 – or Honeycomb – with API level 9. September 2020 saw the release of Android 11with API level 30! 10 years from now, Spotify may not be the dominant audio streaming service it is today. OEMs need to plan for this type of scenario now and ensure they can support the next great content app that comes along.

Hedging your bets with a hybrid approach

A hybrid approach is the most sensible route to take as cars enter the connected world. There are simply too many unknowns for OEMs to place their eggs in one basket now. We don’t know what the future of in-car screens and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) use will be like. Today, broadcast content (including data) from DAB radio, and even FM radio depending on coverage, is still the main consumed content in-car. Mobile coverage varies drastically, so OEMs must be able to smoothly switch from one to another when needed. And mirroring from mobile devices must be supported as car users transition to connected cars via their smartphones and then embedded apps. Car users are moving to connected services at different paces, so OEMs must support them wherever they are on their journey.

Security is another crucial factor for OEMs to consider, especially as the car is now connected to the outside world. If mobile and connected TV worlds are anything to go by, then regular software updates will be become the norm – and possibly even more frequent due to the additional personal safety concerns within a vehicle. OEMs must have the flexibility to support regular updates, whatever the circumstances.

Leave content to the experts

It doesn’t make sense for OEMs to take on the mantle of managing relationships with rights-holders and navigating multiple complex rights deals themselves when it comes to content services. Instead, they should really use an aggregator to do it for them. There are several reasons for this, not least that rights deals are short-term affairs compared to the lifespan of a car. Also, content delivery is incredibly complicated, with new frontiers for OEMs like content protection (digital rights management, or DRM). Put simply, OEMs will find it far easier and quicker to get to market if they lean on experts for support – in the same way that OEMs have relied on their tier 1 partners to deliver functional components for their vehicles rather than sourcing themselves. User data and customer insight will become much more important – as OEMs have a longer relationship with cars, they should want to have control of this rather than ceding to a third-party platform that may have another agenda.

Another big factor to consider is the screen resolution and aspect ratio, and cars are some way off reaching a standardised approach like TV (and it’s highly unlikely they will). Here’s a breakdown of the main issues that OEMs face:

  • The nuances of cars will complicate app support: Different screen sizes and aspect ratios are all the rage in automotive but are unsuitable for supporting video streaming (some wide screens are more akin to a digital billboard beside a sports match than a TV).
  • Keeping up with software devices across multiple devices is tough: Even in the world of TV, with standardisation on 16:9 aspect ratios, premium content providers have their work cut out.
  • App developers will not be keen on supporting multiple screen sizes and ratios: Picture the scene – a testing room full of VW head units, then another for Mercedes, another for BMW etc.
  • Video streaming experience innovations are evolving all the time: There are ample opportunities to keep viewers engaged, e.g., adding more sports stats alongside the main broadcast or allowing voting on talent shows. Of course, when such functionality hits our TV screens, there will be a demand to carry it through to the car. But this will only be possible if app developers are willing and able to do it (i.e., they need the process of updating apps to be as straightforward as possible).

As OEMs prepare for the era of the connected car to kick into gear, it’s important to remember how quickly software – and essential components like operating systems and browsers – and content services evolve in the modern world. Compared to the pace of car rollouts, it will be like stepping onto a Maglev after a light stroll. Those that are best placed to succeed are taking a hybrid approach, and many new revenue opportunities will come their way through the agile ability to quickly support new and existing connected services as a result.

6./ The video entertainment revolution continues

This is the sixth part of a series of blog posts we’re publishing over the next few weeks on the topic of “The In-Car Roadmap: A Definitive Guide to IVI.” Subscribe to our Automotive Newsletter to be notified when the next instalment of the series is available. A PDF version of this blog can be downloaded here.


Executive summary

  • In-vehicle video (IVI) is an untapped market that will grow rapidly, thanks to automotive trends such as Electric Vehicle (EV) charging, increased ridesharing and the arrival of fully autonomous vehicles.
  • An approach that embraces IP, cloud and software allows OEMs to build an infotainment strategy that decouples the country of manufacture from the service delivery agreement.
  • The fragmented SVOD market and simmering rivalries between content providers makes delivering a flexible, integrated service a significant challenge for the automotive industry.
  • ACCESS has removed all the stumbling blocks around content deals, so that one single service can be provided across all OEM markets. ACCESS functions as a one-stop shop for acquiring content rights for TV, VOD, audio, games and apps for global usage.
  • Delivered as either a managed or co-managed platform, an OEM’s in-house development team is relieved of the burden of having to maintain continual updates to ensure BYOD device compatibility, access security and ongoing content agreements.

Vast and untapped

The economic potential of video in vehicles should not be under-estimated. To provide perspective; at the end of 2019, Netflix, the largest single global SVOD, had 167 million subscribers worldwide (60 million based in the US) and revenues of around $20 billion. Estimates in recent years suggest that there could be as many as 2 billion cars on the road by 2025. Even if just one in five of these drivers subscribe to an RSE/SVOD package, the revenue would potentially eclipse even Netflix.

Although services such as Netflix are popular, there are regional and demographic differences that need to be considered. For example, the Disney+ service potentially has more content suitable for children in the backseat than a service such as ESPN, which provides live sports streaming to viewers of all ages.

In the multi-seating-row minivan / Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) market offering, there is a huge potential for OEM brands to differentiate by delivering various content streams to any seat across the vehicle through an on-board media server, via 5G streaming or gaming apps. This presents the possibility for a new recurring revenue profit engine to emerge.

IVI – the video enabler

Across all these examples, the IVI offers that natural focal point for service delivery as well as future flexibility through software-based adaptation. This also offers a benefit for regional customisation with Over-the-air (OTA) IVI updates, providing access to local services without requiring a dealer visit.

As of 2018, there were approximately 1.5 billion active pay-TV or SVOD subscription worldwide, a figure which is expected to reach 1.87 billion by 2023. The global demand for content offers the potential for OEMs to include video content as standard for the underserved RSE audiences. This can range from free-to-air (FTA) channels such as news and sport, to ad-supported premium content that generates a small revenue stream – in effect carriage charges – for the OEM. In this model, a potentially more valuable offering is through in-vehicle video advertising – although this is a concept that has yet to be tested on the open market.

The wider SVOD market is fragmenting to support more operators, with leaders such as Netflix, joined by Amazon, Fox, Disney and HBO, plus an overlap from traditional pay-TV providers with mobile SVOD, such as Sky in Europe and Star in Asia. Added to the mix are premium sports brands like NBA, MLB and NFL that are increasingly looking at direct-to consumer SVOD as a way of bypassing traditional broadcasting structures.

The Video Entertainment Revolution

Flexibility and reliability

Although great for consumer choice, these shifting sands mean that OEMs keen to deliver more RSE must prioritise flexibility and reliability as their top two criteria. Just like the smartphone market, every RSE-equipped vehicle must be able to effectively access every major SVOD service with little friction. In a similar way to progressive TV manufacturers such as Samsung and Sony, the RSE must have the capability to receive FTA channels. It must deliver access to built-in content portals, plus a range of SVOD apps ready for activation with just the addition of subscriber credentials (such as username and password).

Avoiding the content turf wars

OEMs need to insulate themselves for these types of competitive rivalries by ensuring the IVI and RSE systems are developed with independent technology vendors that do not have competing content businesses.
To meet this need, IVI must also be independent of the vested interests of the internet platforms dominated by the likes of Apple, Amazon and Google. These giants have traditionally made it difficult to access content from a perceived rival’s walled garden. For example, Netflix and Apple TV recently cited “technical issues” which prevent Netflix from working on recent versions of Apple Airplay and, in some instances Apple CarPlay.

With the assumption that access to multiple video service providers is needed, the IVI can provide additional value-added features. However, to overcome the need for continuous 4G/5G connectivity on the road, combined capabilities are required. They include pre-caching, to create pools of HD content using cellular connectivity while the vehicle is off-the-road; live video caching, for advanced controls such as pause and rewind; and unified search.

Signing content deals to provide services for all OEM markets is a real challenge. ACCESS has removed this heavy lifting by functioning as a one-stop shop for OEMs, acquiring content rights for TV, VOD, audio, games and apps for global usage. This is unique in the market and enables OEMS to focus on the service with a single point of contact for multiple markets. One of the more attractive approaches in the shorter-term is for OEMs to provide users with a substantial car-centric app store so that car users can use their existing subscriptions to access the third-party content services they love and cherish.

The Video Entertainment Revolution continues

Ready for growth?

Live TV and SVOD services for cars are part of an untapped market that has many elements converging. If unlocked, this represents a major revenue opportunity for the automotive industry. Consider again the potential in respect to the Netflix story.

In 2008, the year after the SVOD leader launched its services, Netflix had an audience of under 10 million subscribers, all based in the US. By 2018, Netflix had accrued an estimated 55 million US subscribers – more than half the total number of pay TV subscriptions in the country (94 million).
Today, by our analysis, less than 1% of vehicles have video enabled RSE. However, the combination of reduction in cost, growing demand for minivans/SUVs, AV and increased ridesharing usage – as well as increasing 5G connectivity – suggests this figure will grow.

Until the arrival of mass market automated vehicles, the adoption of vehicle based SVOD is unlikely to match the staggering growth rate of Netflix. Near-term scenarios such as waiting 20 minutes in an EV at a high-speed charging stations will start to increase demand and use of RSE.

Automotive brands can learn from the pay-TV industry by adopting open standards and ensuring that technologies are fit-for-purpose. To do so, they need to lay the groundwork in preparation of the rise of video. If AV arrives faster than expected, OEMs without an RSE (or potential Front Seat Entertainment) option will be left out in the cold.


ACCESS Insight

ACCESS Twine™ for Car (Twine4Car) comprises a content services layer that includes a pre-built catalogue of content that has been sourced from a wide range of national, regional and international content partners such as ViacomCBS. This broadcaster, studio and content provider network is growing continually. Management is enabled via cloud-based rights management capabilities that can allow OEMs to build optional, basic and premium packages that are adaptable and based on country of vehicle purchase.

This approach simplifies the content acquisition and service process for OEMs and provides a one-stop-shop for handling future rights management and content licensing agreements. Through an IP-based delivery method to head units and OEM Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) apps, OEMs can gain the benefit of an integrated and branded service, localised to the customer without the complexity of having to manage hundreds of separate content agreements and ongoing service and software maintenance challenges.

Content monetisation and service profitability are perfectly supported by Twine4Car to allow the creation of a unique and highly differentiated selling proposition that outperforms all non-integrated offerings.


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5./ The video entertainment revolution begins

This is the fifth part of a series of blog posts we’re publishing over the next few weeks on the topic of “The In-Car Roadmap: A Definitive Guide to IVI.” Subscribe to The Multiscreen Blog to be notified when the next instalment of the series is available. A PDF version of this blog can be downloaded here.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • The growing adoption of Rear Seat Entertainment across luxury, MPVs and taxi/ ridesharing will accelerate as AV enters the market.
  • Delivering new video services will take advantage of a combination of IP, cloud and software technologies along with cellular networks to meet consumer demand.
  • Innovative middleware and service platforms such as ACCESS Twine™ for Car help OEMs overcome technical
    and IAM hurdles through extensive support for key operating systems, media sharing protocols and security controls.
  • Creating the foundation for video-based services today will help progressive OEMs prepare for wider adoption through BYOD apps and cloud / software updates.

“Are we there yet….?” Parents with children know just how important it is for the back-seat royalty to have access to video and Internet.

It’s also important that the people in the front have access to great navigation and location-based services. Imagine you’re a visitor to a strange city. Wouldn’t you just love to have voice directions to the nearest free parking spot and have the payment handled automatically? And of course, when autonomous driving hits its stride, the front seat passengers will be able to enjoy video entertainment too.


Slow wave quickens

Video in cars is not a new concept. After all, the first factory installed rear seat entertainment units appeared in the 1990s. However, considering that approximately two-thirds of car journeys in major cities such as London involve just a driver and no passengers, the demand for these systems has remained relatively low.

The Video Entertainment Revolution begins

Nevertheless, Rear Seat Entertainment (RSE) has proven popular within the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) / minivan / Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) segment, where reviewers of models such as Chevrolet Tahoe and Chrysler Pacifica have been vocal as to the benefits, especially for inter-state journeys with kids in tow.

High end luxury vehicles such as Mercedes-Maybach – which come at a sticker price in excess of $200,000 – tend to easily upsell RSE packages that may cost a couple of extra thousand dollars. Yet, China seems to be the growing epicentre of factory installed RSE that is now common on premium models.

However, the market with potentially the biggest growth is within purpose-built taxis and vehicles which are increasingly designed to serve as ridesharing services. Uber, and its rival service Ola, have already trialled RSE services in India while in the US, a growing number of third parties are offering rideshare advertising services.

Yet, with the majority of RSE installed privately through DIY kits, there are very few accurate statistics around the number of vehicles with this capability and by extension, access to video-based services. However, industry analysts Market Study Report LLC suggest the automotive display market is expected to surpass USD 30 billion by 2025.

Expected value of the video display market in 2025


Fully autonomous vehicles shift the market

By law, front seat video systems are deemed as illegal in most jurisdictions as they are considered a driver distraction. Yet demand for RSE is growing, and this position is likely to accelerate over the next decade as fully autonomous vehicles start to enter the market. Innovators such as Tesla already allow drivers to access video content on the front screen when the vehicle is parked within a charging station.

Part of this growth is due to consumer electronics commoditisation that has reduced the cost of factory installed RSE. The rise of low-cost tablets has led to a reduction in the optional RSE systems with $1000 the starting point for OEM branded packages. Factory installed options tend to be more reliable and integrated than BYOD equivalents and have safety benefits compared to the possibility of handheld tablets becoming dangerous projectiles in the event of a crash.

The physical aspect and economics of RSE, either as standard or as optional extra, is still an evolving landscape. In general, almost every major brand has several models that have this capability. Perhaps the biggest challenge is to ensure that every passenger can enjoy a video experience that is at least comparable to the at-home equivalent.


IP, cloud and software centric

Irrespective of which business model OEMs decides to adopt, the video content service delivery method is likely to rely on IP-based streaming via cellular networks. This approach overcomes the limitations of technologies such as DVB – although that could potentially change over the next decade – while allowing service delivery to be handled through software, either in the car or from the cloud. This offers a major benefit by allowing cars to be manufactured in any market, and exported to any market, with the IVI and RSE configured by remote software update and configuration.

The analogy would be the smartphone; on first use, it can connect to the local carrier and ask the user for their account details, which in turn builds the GUI and app profile based on the supplied information.

As cars change owners in the secondary market, the IVI and RSE resets and the process starts again – as it did when the vehicle left the dealer showroom – and the connection between driver and the OEM is extended to the entire lifecycle of the vehicle!


Video – delivering quality, flexibility and profit

When it comes to the user experience, the IVI has a critical role to play in ensuring popular video services are seamlessly enabled. This starts with handling the Identity Access Management (IAM) layer to ensure secure and trusted access to subscribed services. This single sign-on process simplifies the user experience and is linked to additional features such as parental control and billing management for payment services.

Consumers that already have active subscriptions are unlikely to want to pay for a separate RSE package. However, when bundled with 4G/5G connectivity and sold as a package upgrade, this business model offers a tantalising glimpse into the potential of untapped video service revenues that OEMs could unlock.



ACCESS Insight

ACCESS Twine™ for Car (Twine4Car) enables OEMs to integrate all kinds of content sources, be it public, private or premium content. Sitting as a middleware layer, Twine4Car enables OEMs to define look, feel and style of the UI while the platforms handle the technical enablement of providing secured media access and enabling secured multiscreen media sharing to any head unit within the vehicle along with BYOD devices.

Additionally, by pre-integrating IAM, Conditional Access (CA) and Digital Rights Management (DRM) solutions, OEMs can both simplify the consumer experience and meet the security requirements of the SVOD and broadcaster community. ACCESS Twine™ is CA/DRM technology agnostic and is open to be integrated with any of such systems, including Microsoft PlayReady®, Verimatrix VCAS® and ViewRight™ technologies, and to provide great support for further solutions like Google Widevine® and Apple FairPlay Streaming™.

For OEMs with multiple brands, Twine4Car can help optimise costs by overcoming the issue of device fragmentation. This is because its SDKs are available for all major operating systems, along with integration with leading in-car systems such as GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 4G/5G, DNLA and key automotive software technologies such as Apple CarPlay and Google Auto. Additionally, operators benefit from ACCESS’ wide experience of the consumer electronics market having deployed on more than 1.5 billion devices.


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2/. Embracing the Next Generation In-Vehicle-Infotainment

This is the second part of a series of blog posts we’re publishing over the next few months on the topic of “The In-Car Roadmap: A Definitive Guide to IVI.” Subscribe to The Multiscreen Blog to be notified when the next instalment of the series is available. A PDF version of this blog can be downloaded here.


Executive summary

  • IVI and connectivity are key buying criteria (especially for millennials) that will grow with the arrival of autonomous vehicles.
  • IVI and linked mobile apps offer powerful two-way communication for OEMs to finally engage directly with vehicle owners that transcend the dealer network.
  • Embracing digital services – such as an in-car streaming solutions – will allow for new types of engagements and revenue streams.
  • A dual strategy of supporting key mobile device brands – such as Google and Apple – while still retaining control of the in-vehicle experience offers the most benefits for the automotive industry.
  • This approach will allow the automotive industry to capitalise on new partnerships with content and service providers while strengthening customer engagement and brand loyalty.

For most consumers, purchasing a car is the second largest capital outlay after buying a house.

There are a host of reasons that people choose the car they buy, ranging from ‘curb appeal’ to what the brand means to the driver. Does it feel special sitting in the driver’s seat? Will the kids love sitting in the back? Does it come with all the extras I want at the right price? Of course, all these factors matter, but increasingly the in-car entertainment system can be the decider. So, getting the IVI system right really matters for OEMs.

Although increasing showroom sales are critical, a connected OEM branded In-Vehicle-Infotainment (IVI) system also helps to build longer-term relationships with the driver and passenger along with generating new, recurring revenue streams. At the same time, it enables the OEM to define the in-car experience rather than ceding control to Silicon Valley media tech giants. All of which means that the in-car entertainment experience has never mattered so much to people in cars and those that make them.

Capturing the market

Research companies report that in-vehicle infotainment and connectivity capabilities are becoming a major requirement; according to 2016 IHS Automotive research (which focused on the US market), up to 40% of millennials said they wanted in-car IVI based apps that ‘help to enhance the driving experience.’ Additionally, Gartner L2 reported in 2016 that 40% of surveyed consumers would switch their car brand for more connectivity, up from 20% in 2014. As autonomous vehicles start to emerge – freeing the driver to participate in more activities – IVI will take on an ever more important role in the vehicle purchasing decision making process.

The connected age

The overall vehicle experience has evolved in recent years through the arrival of more advanced in-vehicle technologies. The simple radio and cassette decks from the 1970’s have been updated in modern vehicles with cellular enabled in-car Wi-Fi offering streaming audio, GPS-based location services, and for rear passengers, the option of live and on-demand video.
But IVI is more than just a consumer benefit. With the combination of touchscreen and voice-based interface, on-board software and cellular communications; automotive brands will finally have a powerful touchpoint direct to the car owner. This two-way interaction goes beyond the dealer network relationship and allows brands to engage directly with end-customers to share information, collate data and provide additional value-added services.

The OEMs can increase the possibility of success in IVI by working with telcos to create multiple data plans to cater for differing levels of content access. Additionally, new content and data models in which certain services are already included in the cost of the car could be interesting and popular in some markets.

Adding value

According to the 2018 Deloitte Global Automotive Consumer Study, between 50% and 63% of car owners would be interested in additional connected services provided by car manufacturers. The list includes maintenance updates and vehicle health reporting; updates regarding traffic congestion and suggested alternate routes; and access to parking information, including availability, booking and payment. The same study suggests that 59% of consumers were not contacted by the manufacturer after purchasing their vehicle.

Yet most new cars sold are still not equipped with a modern ‘connected’ IVI. Although this is changing, many existing car owners and passengers still rely on bring-your-own-device (BYOD) offerings based on smartphones and tablets to broaden their in-car entertainment experience beyond the radio and CD player. This option is far from ideal; it suffers from intermittent connection, can be poorly integrated with the car’s entertainment systems and does not provide experiences tailored to individual journeys. It is important when specifying next-generation IVI that OEMs and Tier-1s look for integrated BYOD solutions that provide greater benefits for both automotive brands and the consumer.

Click to enlarge

Integrated apps

Developing integrated apps that can span both IVI and BYOD is critical. Tighter integration between vehicle functions, such as satellite navigation, cellular Wi-Fi, audio systems and rear passengers’ screens, enables advanced in-vehicle features such as instrument cluster integration and rear seat casting to be much more streamlined for the enjoyment of all car occupants.

By offering value-added features, brands can retain control of the user experience through car owners obtaining a superior experience by installing the OEM’s IVI equivalent app on BYOD devices. This dual strategy offers brands a way to keep direct contact with owners as vehicles are resold into the secondary markets, especially if the sale is outside the dealer network.


At the same time, this model also builds stronger relationships and greater loyalty amongst the next generation of car buyers. Offering a branded, value-added app tied to each vehicle creates a direct touch communication path which is directly in the control of the OEM. This means the OEM can reach every car owner, globally, with localised content.


Vehicle app stores

The opportunity to have a set of apps that not only span multiple models and devices but can also be made available from a dedicated vehicle app store, represents an innovation that car brands can use to avoid a dependence on either the Google or Apple app store. The combination of the manufacturer branded IVI alongside integrated branded apps on BYOD, provides the ability to deliver additional value-added services that are both simplified and more reliable.

Alongside popular streamed music applications such as Pandora and Spotify, brands can now look at offering additional content services such as Video-on-Demand (VOD), live TV and premium content that can be delivered as part of a monthly subscription or within an advertising supported model. Global brands such as Amazon, Hulu and Netflix – along with regional champions such as iROKOtv in Nigeria, Hotstar in India and ClaroVideo in Brazil – are all vying for subscribers and are looking at the in-car market as an intact space for business growth.

A world of content

It will be vital for OEMs to create content propositions which entail both large international SVOD and streaming services with local broadcaster content across several countries. ACCESS has built a substantial partner portfolio for automotive, which allows for a mix of content in a white-label product. This allows for an OEM to hold the customer relationship across all its facets.

Are you ready?

By 2040, there will be over 2 billion cars in use and it is likely that autonomous vehicles will make up most new car sales. Brands that can deliver true value-added benefits to drivers and passengers will be able to capitalise on an untapped market. Those that don’t will be letting a great opportunity slip through their fingers.

40% of millenials want IVI apps to enhance the driving experience
40% of drivers would switch cars for greater connectivity
50% of car owners want OEMs to provide additional connected services

ACCESS Insight

The car industry is embracing next generation IVI through standard-based application and connectivity platforms. Leading this shift is ACCESS Twine™ for Car (Twine4Car), which enables automotive OEMs to provide branded Infotainment services on the car head-unit (HU) and rear-seat entertainment (RSE) displays. With software development kits for Android, iOS, QNX and Linux, OEMs can now also extend their branded IVI experience to customer brought in devices (BYOD) to form a seamless offering. Twine4Car spans the gap between the automotive and the content industries by enabling a content portfolio, helping to increase the safety, the comfort, and the flexibility of content consumption for drivers and passengers. Through our extensive contacts and experience, ACCESS can also act as the single point of contact for the OEM, engaging with app store providers, broadcasters, media owners and the OEM’s Tier-1 suppliers to enable the integration and provisioning of state-of-the-art content and streaming services.


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How the Connected Car is Transforming In-Car Entertainment

This is the first of our Automotive focussed blogs on The Multiscreen Blog. These blogs will discuss current and upcoming trends, as the car becomes another channel for connected entertainment.

In the past, the purchase of a new car could also spell the end of the relationship between the manufacturer and the consumer if the vehicle was not going to be ‘dealer maintained’. However, the advent of connectivity in the car with the Internet of Things (IoT) and Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) developments means that OEMs can now forge a closer bond with consumers.

The connected car era has enabled the vehicle to become a fully evolved ecosystem providing a richer user experience and a host of new product offerings such as advanced diagnostics, enhanced driving safety, voice recognition, automotive apps, regularly updated car firmware and rear seat entertainment. These new features are increasingly becoming integral in the buying process both for high end and midrange cars, and enable OEMs to increase monetization opportunities over the life span of the vehicle.

The consumer desire for increased connectivity can be partly attributed to the connected car’s ability to control cost by proactively addressing performance issues. For example, new services that allow easier identification of wear and tear ensure problems are easily addressed and solved. Receiving performance related insurance could help offer a fairer tariff system based on driver performance rather than age and ultimately ensure lower rates for many road users.

However, data has a bigger role to play in transforming the automotive industry. Data and analytics enable the car to automatically communicate levels of wear and tear, providing drivers with accurate information to share with mechanics without waiting for the compulsory car inspection. Efficiently aggregated and analysed, data can also help the industry to offer tailored advertising and media strategies. For example, a tyre company could advertise for its products directly via the head unit as soon as the car informs the driver that its tyres need changing. OEMs and Tier Ones have already shown their desire to protect this data through agreements on privacy and data security principles that regulate how automakers collect, use and share information.

Connectivity in the car will enable a greater range of services to become available. For example, rear-seat entertainment has moved from an OEM controlled experience to a more personalised one that integrates connected devices such as smartphones, tablets and more. This trend forecasts increased use of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) in the car and the possible advent of ‘All seat entertainment’. An immediate consequence of Internet access everywhere and increased media consumption on every connected device has led to what is referred to as the ‘multiscreen era’ in the entertainment industry. In the multiscreen world, consumers demand a seamless experience on every device in and out of the home, and now even in their car. This creates additional challenges for OEMs and Tier Ones as they look to safeguard content on billions of different screens across the globe.

We created the first mobile web browser in the 1980s for NTT DoCoMo and we have seen the market evolve to offer more connectivity on every screen, from smartphones to game consoles and smart TVs. For us, it was only a matter of time before entertainment pervaded every aspect of our lives, including our cars.

Yet, to enable consumers to get a seamless experience everywhere, OEMs and Tier 1s need solutions that bring the latest connected entertainment experiences to the vehicle. This is why we have developed a suite of software products for the automotive industry including ACCESS Twine™, a multiscreen management platform that provides this seamless experience on any device. Furthermore, the solution can be deployed by any OEM and Tier 1 without additional developments, and caters for both embedded screen and BYOD offerings. A complete solution for the automotive sector, ACCESS Twine provides OEMs with full control over branding and the in-car experience.

We live in the age of automation in which we can talk to our phones and remotely pilot drones. It’s high time that the car industry implemented solutions that enable vehicles to become smarter in order to play a leading role in the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution that is taking off right now.

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