“Always On”, not only at home but also in vehicles: That’s what customers expect from the infotainment system of the future. Thanks to the software standard for vehicle infotainment defined in the GENIVI Alliance, the new infotainment platform from the international automotive supplier Continental, quickly and easily brings new functions into the vehicle. These include online services, convenience functions, and downloadable applications.

For the first time, the infotainment platform thus facilitates the integration of driver assistance functions with a camera system offering 360° surround view. In addition to increased networking in the vehicle, the platform also offers a connection to the fast LTE mobile data network. It is open for third-party services and HTML5 applications and it connects with the integrated 3D navigation application with location-based services from the Nokia business unit HERE. Mobile end devices can also be connected seamlessly using Bluetooth and MirrorLinkTM transmission.

“For us, Infotainment means increased networking with the vehicle and the outside world. We don’t just integrate the smartphone and the Cloud but also integrate vehicle-specific functions – from driver assistance, for example – into our Infotainment platform,” explains Hans Hiebl, head of Continental’s Infotainment & Connectivity business unit.

Visitors to the Continental booth at the IAA can find out about the platform’s performance capabilities.

360° surround view for parking aid directly from the Infotainment processor

So that no obstacle is overlooked when parking, drivers can display different perspectives and image sections on the infotainment system screen. They can even change to a bird’s eye view on the screen and “float” freely above the vehicle. “The best thing about our 360° surround view solution is that the cameras use a UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) Ethernet connection. It is significantly better than conventional video cabling. Apart from cameras and cabling, there is no need to install any extra components in the vehicle. All the computing power is located directly in the infotainment system processor,” says Hans Hiebl. Continental also offers of surround view systems as highly scalable stand-alone solutions for different vehicle segments.

With the 360° surround view system, Continental is presenting its first application linking driver assistance and infotainment. Depending on the size of the vehicle, the system consists of at least four of Continental’s surround view cameras, which capture the entire area around the vehicle.

But the 360° surround view has even more to offer and can also even help drivers outside their vehicles. In the future, the image from the camera can be directly transferred to the driver’s smartphone via Wi-Fi or also via the fast LTE mobile data network. This means that drivers can check at a glance what is happening anywhere near their vehicles. Should t6he vehicle alarm be triggered, the driver can quickly glance at the smartphone application to see whether anyone is tampering with the vehicle.

Location-based services with Nokia’s HERE

The 3D navigation from HERE also demonstrates the broad functional diversity of the Infotainment platform. Various location-based applications such as 3D landmarks and current traffic information can be called up through the online connection. This allows drivers to reach their destination sooner. With HERE, users can also enter navigation destinations, route preferences, or the like while they are outside the vehicle. They can do this on a smartphone, tablet, or PC and then simply transfer their searches to the vehicle via the Internet. Thanks to the available APIs (Application Programming Interface), vehicle manufacturers can develop their own location-based applications.

“Together with Continental, we are enabling the vehicle and driver to stay in constant contact with the digital world,” says Floris van de Klashorst, VP Connected Car for HERE. “We are ensuring a smooth process that starts with planning and continues on through actual driving down to the ‘last mile.'”

Via smartphone or by LTE and HTML5: Continental brings the Cloud to the vehicle

The Infotainment platform automatically connects to the Cloud thanks to AutoLinQ™ technology via direct access to the fast LTE mobile data network, enabling drivers to access their favorite music stored at home. Through a HTML5 portal, users can access a whole range of apps. These differ from applications from conventional stores in that they have an automotive-compatible user interface.

The MirrorLink technology supported by the OIP enables almost seamless integration of mobile end devices. It quickly and easily mirrors the content of the smartphone screen to the larger touchscreen of the Infotainment system so that it can be used there. This allows the driver to receive telephone calls directly in the center console, call up music saved on a smartphone, or even use the navigation app saved on the end device. At the same time, applications such as games or videos are blocked in MirrorLink™ mode during the journey – for less distraction and increased safety and comfort in the vehicle.