Taking the lead with connected digital cockpit

The latest umlaut white paper analyses which aspects car makers must consider to stay relevant and gener-ate revenue.

(PresseBox) ( Aachen, )
Detroit, MI – August 3, 2021 – In its latest white paper, “The Next In-Vehicle Experience: Connected Digital Cockpit” published today, umlaut, the benchmarking and testing expert analyzes how the emergence of the digital cockpit has changed and will further transform the automotive industry landscape - including user experience, sales and revenue. Since the traditional cockpit has transformed into a digital product, similar to consumer smart devices, car makers need to transform their decade-old R&D and technology approach to stay relevant and compete, according to the umlaut report.

By 2030, the report indicates we could see 115 million vehicles with digital cockpits shipped. In less than 10 years, umlaut expects to see a full-scale digitization driven primarily by four mutually reinforcing trends: Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric (CASE) vehicles – of which Connected, Electric and Autonomous vehicles are envisioned as the key-technology trends impacting the automotive cockpit on a large scale. The connected car trend is forcing the growth in the two key products of cockpit instrument duster and infotainment which makes up about two-third of the cockpit.

Navid Firouz, umlaut's Director of Digital Cockpit, explains: “As the car of the future will host a family of complex connected technologies and components, it will become more important that the integration produces a seamless and harmonious user experience for the driver and passengers."

And the transformation has begun. At this year's CES Show for example, Mercedes showcased their 56-inch-wide OLED screen equipped with eight CPU processors and 24 gigabytes of RAM as part of their Mercedes Benz User Experience (MBUX) Hyperscreen technology for the upcoming 2022 Mercedes EQS. With the emergence of 5G technology, artificial intelligence and edge computing, this approach could become industry standard.

"umlaut experts expect vehicle cockpits to change more in the next 10 years than in the past 50 years", says Hakan Ekmen, umlaut US Managing Director. "OEMs should see this evolution as the beginning of opportunity for continuous revenue generation while satisfying the digital demand of future customers. For example, manufacturers can offer the full vehicle software ecosystem, such as smart home, phone and more, as part of a subscription to their customers - by leveraging the digital cockpit as the presenter platform.“

Just like technology has transformed how people communicate, access food, and work remotely, the digital cockpit is changing how we experience cars. The future cockpit plays a crucial role in moving towards a more intelligent and personalized in-vehicle experience that is software- and services­oriented, networked, and inter-operable. Technologies such as 5G, edge computing, cloud computing and self-driving have already started making an impact in the automotive industry - the ideal digital cockpit can consolidate these complex technologies into one access point that is simplified and seamless.

These digital cockpit transformations disrupt how the automotive industry and consumers look at the future car. From the perspective of manufacturers and suppliers, the car is developed as a platform with a scalable system architecture and for consumers it is a digital product - a cousin of its smaller and complimentary smart devices. Technologies like artificial intelligence, voice & gesture recognition and many more will offer customers a safer in-vehicle experience and personalized infotainment services. Just like smartphones, cars won’t just serve the single purpose of transportation, rather it will become a mobile office, gaming rig, mobile entertainment center and more.

There are a few challenges such as development of scalable and cost-effective hardware and performance chips along with the challenge to effectively integrate the car software with the outside world applications. Also, with the evolution of autonomy and immersive car experiences, OEMs will need to ensure that the developed systems are safer from cyber-attacks and meet the government regulatory policies.

Automakers and suppliers are revising car interiors with prominent displays and software integration to add personalization features while enhancing safety and access to infotainment. At the foundation of such transformations are new system architectures which are scalable to add flexibility of upgrading internal components, enable user-facing customization and are future proof to integrate in battery powered autonomous cars. The cockpit of the future is one unified seamless product that dominates the car interiors, giving occupants new ways to interact with the vehicle as well as with each other.

In its upcoming white paper, the “Digital Cockpit Technology Deep Dive”, umlaut will cover the cockpit system architecture, development of features, functions, and services as well as use cases in the ideal cockpit.

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