Integrated Cockpit Controller Streamlines In-Cabin UX Design

Integrated Cockpit Controller Streamlines In-Cabin UX Design

Many global OEMs are prioritizing the redesign of the in-cabin user experience — by moving away from traditional head units, introducing immersive audio features or offering consumers seamless integration between a vehicle’s infotainment system and their smartphones, for example.

The latest-generation integrated cockpit controllers (ICCs) can meet these requirements and more as capable and agile platforms that support rich functionality while realizing significant efficiencies in automotive design and production.

Transforming the in-cabin user experience

The in-cabin user experience is evolving rapidly. Cabin environments reflect the 24/7 connected world that now dominates so much of modern life. Consequently, infotainment systems have migrated to familiar, intuitive interfaces and have incorporated ubiquitous connectivity protocols such as Bluetooth, CarPlay and Android Auto while offering smart navigation capabilities.

Emerging regulations are also driving changes. The latest initiatives in the European Union, such as Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) protocols and GSR2 (General Safety Regulation 2), are set to compel all new vehicles to incorporate a series of active safety systems, with implications that include the need for cameras in the cabin for driver monitoring.

Until recently, introducing new features on this scale almost invariably required an increase in the number of disparate systems — each with its own processing and software architecture — that would have to be integrated. That led to higher design and manufacturing costs, with more components, greater design complexity and more potential for errors during development, validation and the production and assembly process. Further, future system hardware and software upgrades required full system testing and support, a challenging process to complete with vehicles already in the hands of consumers.

The ICC is a single, powerful platform

The ICC represents a compelling alternative, replacing multiple electronic control units (ECUs) with a single, powerful compute platform capable of supporting audio, infotainment, connectivity, navigation, interior sensing and real-time vision.

The ICC not only consolidates ECUs but also enables higher levels of performance and scalability to meet expanding requirements for memory, graphics and computational speed. For example, ICCs can support multiple tuner module variations to meet the specific requirements and expectations of individual countries and regions, reducing complexity and cost in the main computing platform while still supporting all geographies in which an OEM operates.

By implementing an ICC design that is SoC-agnostic, upgradable and flexible in both hardware and software, OEMs can cater to the future needs of their consumers over a vehicle’s full life cycle through over-the-air updates.

Since the underlying ICC hardware for both safety-related (e.g., instrument cluster) and non-safety-related (e.g., Android infotainment) systems is the same, mixed-criticality processing becomes a crucial element in the design. Employing various building blocks, such as a hypervisor, a real-time operating system, containers and middleware can help efficiently prioritize critical applications while delivering a feature-rich user experience.

By employing a single computing platform rather than multiple dedicated ECUs, the ICC streamlines updates, simplifies overall design and saves cost, space and weight. Having a common, highly scalable, future-proof solution in the heart of the vehicle facilitates evolution without the need for significant, costly and time-consuming design changes.

Embracing change

The ICC offers OEMs and consumers a genuine win-win proposition. Enhanced in-cabin experiences can be combined with significant manufacturing efficiencies.

Aptiv offers a comprehensive portfolio of high-performance ICCs. Crucially, we bring our expertise in all of the key technologies currently transforming the in-cabin user experience to the ICC, including active and advanced safety systems; infotainment systems supporting Android Automotive, CarPlay and Google Automotive Services; and interior sensing systems for detecting driver drowsiness and distraction to support regulatory requirements.

These solutions reflect the very latest expectations of OEMs and consumers for a far more sophisticated user experience, as well as the ongoing need for products that can be easily and cost-effectively upgraded at the pace of innovation.

Many global OEMs are prioritizing the redesign of the in-cabin user experience — by moving away from traditional head units, introducing immersive audio features or offering consumers seamless integration between a vehicle’s infotainment system and their smartphones, for example.

The latest-generation integrated cockpit controllers (ICCs) can meet these requirements and more as capable and agile platforms that support rich functionality while realizing significant efficiencies in automotive design and production.

Transforming the in-cabin user experience

The in-cabin user experience is evolving rapidly. Cabin environments reflect the 24/7 connected world that now dominates so much of modern life. Consequently, infotainment systems have migrated to familiar, intuitive interfaces and have incorporated ubiquitous connectivity protocols such as Bluetooth, CarPlay and Android Auto while offering smart navigation capabilities.

Emerging regulations are also driving changes. The latest initiatives in the European Union, such as Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) protocols and GSR2 (General Safety Regulation 2), are set to compel all new vehicles to incorporate a series of active safety systems, with implications that include the need for cameras in the cabin for driver monitoring.

Until recently, introducing new features on this scale almost invariably required an increase in the number of disparate systems — each with its own processing and software architecture — that would have to be integrated. That led to higher design and manufacturing costs, with more components, greater design complexity and more potential for errors during development, validation and the production and assembly process. Further, future system hardware and software upgrades required full system testing and support, a challenging process to complete with vehicles already in the hands of consumers.

The ICC is a single, powerful platform

The ICC represents a compelling alternative, replacing multiple electronic control units (ECUs) with a single, powerful compute platform capable of supporting audio, infotainment, connectivity, navigation, interior sensing and real-time vision.

The ICC not only consolidates ECUs but also enables higher levels of performance and scalability to meet expanding requirements for memory, graphics and computational speed. For example, ICCs can support multiple tuner module variations to meet the specific requirements and expectations of individual countries and regions, reducing complexity and cost in the main computing platform while still supporting all geographies in which an OEM operates.

By implementing an ICC design that is SoC-agnostic, upgradable and flexible in both hardware and software, OEMs can cater to the future needs of their consumers over a vehicle’s full life cycle through over-the-air updates.

Since the underlying ICC hardware for both safety-related (e.g., instrument cluster) and non-safety-related (e.g., Android infotainment) systems is the same, mixed-criticality processing becomes a crucial element in the design. Employing various building blocks, such as a hypervisor, a real-time operating system, containers and middleware can help efficiently prioritize critical applications while delivering a feature-rich user experience.

By employing a single computing platform rather than multiple dedicated ECUs, the ICC streamlines updates, simplifies overall design and saves cost, space and weight. Having a common, highly scalable, future-proof solution in the heart of the vehicle facilitates evolution without the need for significant, costly and time-consuming design changes.

Embracing change

The ICC offers OEMs and consumers a genuine win-win proposition. Enhanced in-cabin experiences can be combined with significant manufacturing efficiencies.

Aptiv offers a comprehensive portfolio of high-performance ICCs. Crucially, we bring our expertise in all of the key technologies currently transforming the in-cabin user experience to the ICC, including active and advanced safety systems; infotainment systems supporting Android Automotive, CarPlay and Google Automotive Services; and interior sensing systems for detecting driver drowsiness and distraction to support regulatory requirements.

These solutions reflect the very latest expectations of OEMs and consumers for a far more sophisticated user experience, as well as the ongoing need for products that can be easily and cost-effectively upgraded at the pace of innovation.

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