OEMs need to rethink how to differentiate and reconsider the value of data and services.
The Automotive Operating System (OS) playground remains scattered. Automotive Operating Systems: Global Market Forecast to 2025 forecasts that Android and Linux OS will grow as significant challengers in the OS market. Many consider Android Automotive as Google's real entry to the Automotive OS markets, allowing access to the data of vehicles.
We have significant experience from different Android Automotive architectures:
Different operating systems all have their unique strengths for executing different features. Consequently, Automotive Tier-1 suppliers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) often end up using multiple Operating Systems.
Non-Recurring Engineering (NRE) costs of research, design, development and testing of a new infotainment system can add up to tens of millions of euros. It is quite common that OEMs spend 50% of this NRE cost for Human-Machine Interface (HMI) development alone. If a vendor uses Android Automotive and does not modify Google's HMI too much, it could easily decrease the development costs by close to 50%, but this would happen at the expense of differentiation.
Currently, we are involved in in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system development projects based on Android Automotive.
I see Android Automotive as an important backbone for infotainment (IVI) systems. However, it is not an "automotive" full-featured Operating System for infotainment. Many things are still missing and need to be modified or added to fulfill the needs of automotive vendors. These can be, for example, specific audio routing/handling, multiscreen synchronization support, or specific input devices support.
Data ownership and sharing with Google also requires special attention.
Android Automotive will force automotive vendors to think about how to differentiate via user experience and services by using leading-edge technologies. That said, if a lot of adaptation is done to the Android Automotive level, maintenance costs become painfully costly. We have seen this already in the mobile phone industry.
Hopefully project Treble, a major re-architecture in the way Android works, will decrease this workload and costs. It aims to separate the operating system more clearly from hardware, thus making updates and changes easier.
I believe that automotive vendor winners will be those who succeed in:
We have a decade's experience of working with consumer electronic companies using Android and its software framework, and we now help automotive vendors master Android Automotive based infotainment projects. In the Digital Cockpit domain, we provide full-stack software services from embedded to cloud applications and connectivity.
We welcome you to read more about our automotive software engineering services and contact us for further information.
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Emmanuel Maillard heads the business development of the Automotive industry sector in Tieto Product Development Services. He has held multiple management positions in sales and business development. He is passionate about digital technologies and experienced in navigating in the fast-moving automotive industry business.