As QNX CAR passes its first anniversary I am struck by how quickly the nature of the technology integrations are changing. When we started down this path we had a vision of a connected car but I didn’t really considered how far the concept could go.
We are now seeing three types of integrations. The most traditional type of integration is one where the application resides on the head unit and may or may not require connectivity to the cloud. This is known as built-in.
Bringing a device into the car that interacts with the head unit is categorized as brought-in. The most obvious of these brought-in devices are portable media players – think Apple iPod – that connect into the vehicles infotainment system. With the dramatic increase in smart phone shipments (I read somewhere they represent somewhere around 30% of phones currently shipping) we are seeing a new class of brought-in solutions where the lionshare of the application processing is done on the phone. A simple application that allows control of the phone and rendered of the data resides on the head unit. Cloud connectivity comes via the 3G network and the phone and head unit communicate via bluetooth.
The newest, and potentially most exciting class of integration is the beamed-in application. A beamed-in application runs entirely in the cloud and is simply rendered in the vehicle.
QNX is working with third parties to bring all these technologies into the QNX CAR reference platform and in the coming months QNX CAR participants will be able to explore the possibilities for themselves.