Connected automotive infotainment systems are taking off with all the subtlety of a rocket launching. According to ABI Research, driven by the integration of smart phones and applications into the vehicular environment global shipments of connected in-vehicle Infotainment System (IVI) will exceed 62 Million by 2018. These next-generation systems will be able to push e-mails from a smartphone to a vehicle’s multimedia screen and read them aloud to the driver, offer voice-controlled instant messaging or social networking posts and transfer video content from the home TV to the car for passenger entertainment.


But given that smartphones and smartphone apps were not made to be used while driving automakers are understandably reluctant to fully integrate a smartphone interface into the car’s dashboard because they cannot control how it will be used and could face liability issues if a driver got into an accident while, for example, using an entertainment app.


The problem is that the car IVI system must, at once: 1) function as a master controller for communication with portable consumer devices; 2) have the speed and reliability of an embedded device; and 3) interact with automotive systems to keep the driver informed about the status of brakes, engine performance, tires and other key vehicular systems.  And all of this will be done via the increasingly common touchscreen that manufacturers are building into new cars' center consoles.


At the heart of the solution are operating systems and middleware. Automotive infotainment software must effectively merge the feature-rich aspects of consumer products while preserving the enhanced quality and robustness requirements of an automotive system. Ideally, this would be done through standardized automotive Web APIs. Unfortunately there is no standardized Web API with which an IVI system can access automotive data.

So a solution must be created that meets these automotive and consumer device requirements and at the same time provides a consistent target for a developer community. Among Intel’s® automotive activities are its involvement with two groups trying to make this happen: GENIVI® and Tizen.


GENIVI® is an industry alliance committed to driving the broad adoption of an IVI common open source automotive infotainment reference platform and standardizing the platform so it can be upgraded over the life of the vehicle. Comprised of more than 165 member companies the GENIVI® Alliance will deliver reference implementations and offer certification programs to an open source IVI community resulting in shortened development cycles, quicker time-to-market, and reduced cost for companies developing IVI equipment and software (Fig.1).





Figure 1-- IVI systems must handle a wide range of vehicle and consumer product data


GENIVI®’s version 3.0 refines the infotainment platform by updating some existing component versions, removing some that are not used, and promoting some optional items in GENIVI® 2.0 to mandatory in 3.0. One of the most important updates is the requirement to use a Linux Kernel version 3.0 (or greater). New mandatory components in 3.0 include a Bluetooth Hands-Free capability, and a Bluetooth Phone Book. These are declared as Abstract Components by GENIVI®, which means that the implementer has freedom as to how the capability is implemented, provided it meets the functionality and interface requirements.


The Tizen Project can be looked at as a totally open-sourced version of GENIVI® that, like GENIVI®, is closely aligned with the open-source Linux Foundation. But unlike GENIVI® Tizen is embedded Linux that also targets smartphones and other embedded devices. Tizen is a standards-based software platform supported by leading mobile operators, device manufacturers, and silicon suppliers for multiple device categories, including smartphones, tablets, netbooks, IVI devices, smart TVs, and more.


Based on HTML5 and designed for automotive OEMs, Tizen IVI allows developers to use web technologies to write applications that run across multiple car units. Tizen IVI is GENIVI® compliant and includes such core services as an Automotive Network Manager that provides APIs to access vehicle sensors and diagnostics data. Tizen includes an Automotive Message Broker which abstracts CAN messages and other low level vehicle information and exposes them to developers as a high level API. The Automotive Message Broker can be used to translate the action of a steering wheel, pedals, gear shift or any other vehicle information into data that can be displayed in a web application.


Other Tizen IVI characteristics also include fast boot-up--less than 7 seconds to home screen—and a small footprint. Intel® Atom™ IVI processors for Tizen include Tunnel Creek and Valley View.


Last month Tizen released version 2.0, code-named Magnolia. This release includes many new features and improvements over Tizen 1.0 including strong HTML5/W3C APIs and a new Web UI framework, including full-screen and multi-window support.  Additional Tizen device APIs, such as Bluetooth and NFC support are provided as well as access to the device’s calendar, call history, media gallery, settings panel and video player.


Intel® Intelligent System Alliance Member Solutions

Green Hills Software has shown how automotive OEMs and Tier 1’s can reliably combine GENIVI®-compliant operating systems with real-time safety functions on Intel®  Atom™ processors. The INTEGRITY® RTOS is a royalty-free, modern partition-architecture Real-Time Operating System for use in embedded systems that require maximum safety or reliability or security. Based on INTEGRITY Multivisor™ secure virtualization, this platform enables the safe, seamless combination of any GENIVI®-compliant operating system with time-critical safety applications on a single processor — delivering significant per unit cost savings, future-proofing and maximum automotive robustness in the head unit.


The Wind River Platform for Infotainment is a Linux-based, GENIVI® 3.0 -compliant run-time platform specifically tuned for the IVI market. The platform takes full advantage of open source community innovations while providing a foundation on top of which on top of which tier 1 and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can add functional differentiation and value-add applications. IVI system developers can use Wind River’s commercial-grade platform to reduce overall development cost, minimize project risk, and shorten project timelines. Wind River is a founding member of the GENIVI® Alliance and its Platform for Infotainment supports the Intel® Atom™ Crossville architecture.


Mentor Graphics has made available a GENIVI® 3.0 specification-compliant Linux®- based Infotainment (IVI) product. The Mentor Embedded IVI Base Platform is a GENIVI® compliant foundation for IVI software development. The platform integrates graphics, communication and multimedia middleware with libraries, system infrastructure, and management components on top of Linux and relevant drivers. When combined with Mentor Embedded development tools and services, automotive OEMs and their suppliers have a comprehensive solution for building the next generation of IVI systems on open source software. The Mentor Embedded IVI Base Platform is available for Intel® Atom™ architectures




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Wind River is an Associate Member of the Intel Intelligent Systems Alliance

Green Hills and Mentor Graphics are Affiliate Members of the Intel Intelligent Systems Alliance

Murray Slovick

Roving Reporter (Intel Contractor) Intel Intelligent Systems Alliance IVI Integration of Consumer Device and Automotive Systems Data