3/. Entertainment content for the connected car

This is the third 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

  • 4G and the adoption of 5G cellular connectivity for new car sales is growing rapidly, making the connected car the de facto standard within 5 years.
  • The technical characteristics of 5G signalling gives automotive platforms reliability and performance benefits for occupants compared to personal mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones.
  • Buyers are prepared to switch car brand loyalty to gain better connectivity and seamless access to additional services.
  • Modern IVI will help OEMs deliver flexible networking to achieve the best possible experience for vehicle occupants – across all platforms.
  • Once connected, OEMs can streamline direct communications and start building stronger relationships with driver and passengers.
  • This IP, cloud and app approach to IVI meets the needs of the automotive industry to manufacture vehicles that are independent of the market of eventual sale.

Across the developed and developing world, consumers expect that the Internet connectivity provided through mobile devices should offer them access to entertainment wherever they are.

As we enter a new decade, basic radio and rather awkward bring-your-own-device (BYOD) experiences are unlikely to satisfy drivers and passengers as the only forms of in-car entertainment. The car OEMs understand this and are all evaluating the best way to deliver on the potential of the connected car concept. As BMW board member, Pieter Nota, suggests: “It’s not just about having big screens in your vehicle, it’s about the content you can have on those screens and what you can offer that’s so important, in terms of things like the best possible integration of music in your vehicle.”

The combination of smart software with stable 4G and advanced 5G cellular networks unlocks a future in which the car becomes an OEM-branded communications hub that offers entertainment, BYOD access and value-added services.

The relatively low cost of shipping 4G systems in a car has already seen a rise in its inclusion in next generation vehicles. There will be around 250 million connected cars on the road by 2020, and connected functionality has moved up the list of features consumers value. A 2018 survey by mobile app developer Metova found that two out of three respondents would switch from their current entertainment service provider to one that was included with their vehicle. Buyers are increasingly prepared to change both their car brand and loyalty towards their content distributor to gain better connectivity and seamless access to in-car entertainment services. Data from Counterpoint Research suggesting that 75% of cars will be connected to the Internet by 2025, with the vast majority utilising 5G networks, supports the notion that the connected car is on its way to mass-market adoption.  

66% of consumers would switch content providers to get in-car connected content services
66% of consumers would switch content providers to get in-car connected content services


5G mobility benefits

4G networks are already widely deployed and provide a pathway for highspeed connectivity across audio, compressed video and two-way communication for BYOD and on-board apps. In Europe, new car models approved for manufacture after 31 March 2018 must have the 112-based eCall system installed which uses a cellular modem within each vehicle.

Although 4G is ideal for streaming low bandwidth content, the cellular connectivity that will be fitted into all new cars is likely to be 5G ready – allowing a software / SIM upgrade to take advantage of new networks as they arrive to the market.

This move to 5G is more than just a gimmick; due to the short wavelength of 5G radio signals, cars with larger and better integrated radio antennas will offer far superior reception than that of smartphones. With the car acting as a reliable 5G access point, the ability to project a Wi-Fi hotspot for occupants provides increased reliability and performance across the entire journey for driver and passengers alike.

With connectivity built-in, automobiles finally gain several real-time capabilities that aid driver comfort, safety and utility. From instant updates for traffic and route guidance, to delivering new forms of infotainment such as streaming audio services and video for rear-seat passengers, 5G means, that for example, a built-in IVI system including a service such as Netflix will perform far better than BYOD devices running a Netflix app.

IVI acts already as a connectivity hub allowing various media formats – via Bluetooth and USB drives – to be merged into a single source of entertainment. The next generation IVIs will also be a central access point to the services offered by the OEMs, allowing them to shape these in the most attractive and efficient way for the driver and passengers.  

Data on the move

Always-on connectivity also allows automotive brands to gain deeper insights into car and driver usage. As part of an opt-in model, brands can now start to directly communicate with vehicle occupants for practical issues, such as car servicing reminders and promotional activities including OEM and third-party offers.

For car brands, built in connectivity combined with value added services unlocks the potential for direct-to-consumer subscription services. Early pioneers of this approach include OnStar, with its package of services such as roadside assistance, remote vehicle unlocking, and automatic crash response. This helped to showcase the potential of connectivity being available across entry level and mid-tier vehicles. Through this connectivity, OEMs can begin to streamline their direct communications and start building stronger relationships with drivers and passengers.

Infotainment unlocked

The connected car approach will also allow car brands to offer integrated infotainment services through partnerships with existing or emerging music, video-on-demand and gaming services. In a similar paradigm to the smartphone market, vehicles are likely to be a showroom with connected services that are enabled through activating pre-downloaded apps within the IVI – along with companion apps for mobile devices.

Adoption of the connected car as standard is accelerating across the industry, fuelled by consumer demand. All current consumer and car industry research points towards an evolution in which the connected car becomes the standard option. Looking to a medium-term future where electric vehicles and charging stations become the norm, the in-car entertainment experience will play a key role in how car brands are perceived.  

ACCESS IVI how does the content get into the car
How does the content get into the car?

Twine4Car connects the in-car infotainment system components seamlessly with BYOD devices via the in-car Wi-Fi network. It provides a decentralised control of content that enables a multi-device user experience far beyond common single device streaming applications or screen mirroring technologies. This platform approach aggregates content into a single point, offering enhanced features such as the ability to index digital content along with music and video from all devices – including USB drives, smartphones and tablets – within the car. Aggregated content can be played on any Twine4Car enabled device such as RSE units, tablets and smartphones. It allows OEMs to deploy a single IVI system across multiple brands and enables the delivery of new features simply via software updates or through changes to cloud-based interfaces rather than through physical upgrades.

This combined IP, cloud and app approach matches with the needs of the automotive industry to manufacture vehicles that are independent of the market of eventual sale. For example, a car build in a factory in Germany, sold to a dealer in Netherlands and bought by a customer that lives in Belgium, would offer an IVI experience that could be automatically reconfigured based on the owner’s preference through a simple system login process – without the need for a dealer visit.

In addition, as the vehicle’s owner changes or as new BYOD devices or content services appear, the IVI interface can be remotely updated from the cloud – without the need for new software to be pushed to the vehicle – and again, without a dealer visit. This innovative concept is ready here and now and under testing at several larger automotive manufacturers.

100% of new cars sold in Europe have a cellular modem
100% of new cars sold in Europe have a cellular modem


75% of cars will be connected to the internet by 2025
75% of cars will be connected to the internet by 2025


250m connected cars expected to be on the road in 2020
250m connected cars expected to be on the road in 2020

ACCESS Insight

ACCESS Twine™ for Car (Twine4Car) supports automotive OEMs in creating successful multi-device in-car platforms that facilitate flexible driver and passenger consumption of media services. It enables exploration of new customer engagement approaches through the HMI and business models to create recurring revenue streams. Twine4Car allows OEMs to start with the services they wish to deploy today and add new services over time as the industry moves towards more advanced levels of autonomous driving.

Subscribe to The Multiscreen Blog to be notified when the next instalment of this blog series is available.

TU-Automotive Detroit: collaboration in the driver’s seat

Last month, all of the car industry’s major players congregated at TU-Automotive Detroit, the world’s biggest conference and exhibition for autonomous and connected cars, to showcase the latest technological innovations and discuss where the industry is heading and how we can get there.

On the show floor, there were more than 150 booths offering live product demonstrations on everything from cybersecurity through to payments. Yet the one major trend that stood out at the show was the huge amount of collaboration between technology service providers, OEMs and Tier 1s. A good example is Hyundai’s partnership with Xevo, an automotive telematics provider. At the show, the two companies showed a new solution that enables payments to be made straight from the car’s screen, which opens the door to new services available in connected cars.

We have always strongly believed in collaboration and bringing the best solutions and expertise together – and it is absolutely crucial in infotainment service innovation.

Today’s consumers live in the multiscreen era and enjoy intuitive services that provide tailored recommendations that can be accessed at any time and from any device and location. As the multiscreen landscape continues to evolve, the vehicle will become part of the wider multiscreen ecosystem rather than an isolated environment. Consumers will be able to press play on one device with one particular type of content and continue that same experience within the car moments later.

However, in order for this to happen, it will require knowledge both of the consumer’s viewing habits, but also of the journey (taking the kids to school, going to work, being stuck in traffic or driving for hours for the holidays). This specialist skill set requires better collaboration between the automotive and content industries, which are slated to converge once driverless cars become commercially accessible to the public. For the content industry, the potential for monetisation is enormous: studios could offer exclusive content to passengers inside the car, while broadcasters and content distributors can strike deals with manufacturers to extend their pay TV services outside of the home and build a stronger relationship with their subscribers.

To bridge the gap between the content and automotive industries, we created ACCESS Twine™ for Car, our new solution that enables passengers to combine their own multimedia library with the manufacturer’s catalogue, and adjusts the experience to each journey and user, tailored to the specific demography and duration of the ride. With ACCESS Twine for Car, we are enabling drivers to enjoy specific audio centric content or news on demand, while passengers can watch videos, play games, listen to music or read eBooks from the comfort of their seat.

TU Automotive Detroit is always a great opportunity to meet with our partners, customers and industry friends to discuss the future of the car industry and which key trends are emerging. This year, we were pleased to see a greater focus on collaboration and we look forward to working with manufacturers and Tier 1s, as well as studios and content owners, to bring premium multimedia and entertainment services to the car.

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.

Copyright © 2023 ACCESS Europe GmbH