The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas has become one of the biggest and most influential trade shows in the world. Companies of all sizes from across the technology spectrum make their way to the Nevada desert every year to show off their latest innovations, network with potential partners, generate brand buzz and maybe drop a dollar or two in the casino after dinner.
This blog describes a high-level approach to securing and authenticating the connection link between in-vehicle systems and smartphone applications. A secure link is needed in cases such as vehicle data collection, receiving firmware updates (using store and forward model), enabling premium features and other scenarios.
This two-part blog post will explore Amazon Alexa APIs and their applicability for in-vehicle use.
Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa is currently the dominant voice recognition technology for in-home devices. Thanks to an open development ecosystem, users can choose from Amazon’s own devices (such as Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, etc.) as well as various third-party products including smart speakers, smart TVs, in-vehicle assistants, etc. Through its Skills APIs, Amazon has opened a powerful ecosystem for many third-party devices and services, dramatically extending Alexa’s capabilities.
An earlier post about over the air updates via the smartphone discussed the need for in-vehicle systems to open a secure connection to the cloud, via the smartphone, to verify the integrity and authenticity of software updates. This post examines how to achieve the same result with a USB connection, describes the standard USB connectivity options between smartphone and in-vehicle head-units, and discusses the difficulties of obtaining internet connectivity out of the box with those approaches.
Like virtually every other industry in the world, the automotive sector has been profoundly affected by the explosion of smart devices. Today, smartphones let millions of people enjoy the convenience of ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft or car-sharing services like Zipcar or car2go. Smartphones can also extend the capabilities of the car itself with over-the-air updates, customization, internet connectivity and more. And in the not-too-distant future, when self-driving cars are shared between multiple users, smart devices will carry the user’s identity from vehicle to vehicle, a
llowing for instant personalization.
In 2011, Silicon Valley luminary Marc Andreesen famously wrote that “software is eating the world,” a sentiment one would have been hard-pressed to argue against even six years ago. We may say “cloud computing” instead of simply “software” these days, but there is no denying the effects of technological transformation, as once-strong brick and mortar mainstays like Blockbuster, Borders, and the neighborhood record store have fallen like so many bowling pins to the onslaught of digital bulwarks Amazon, Netflix, Apple et al.
Initially connecting the phone to the car has been about displaying content from phone into vehicle. With Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android focused on extending mobile content to the car, they are missing the real value of connecting the car and smartphone: Driver Centric Data.
With the growth of vehicle centric APIs providing greater access to the vehicle data, the number of possible solutions expands to include vehicle health, diagnostics, roadside assistance, automatic crash notification, etc. combining the best of both vehicle and the smartphone services. By combining both open vehicle APIs with the personalization of the smartphone, connected drivers can enjoy a personalized experience with remote climate control, smart radio and dynamic media.
With the emergence of the Connected Car, ADAS, and Self-Driving Cars, OEMs are asking one important question: How do we solve the paradox of a piece of hardware that will exist for 10 years in an industry where the preferred features and technologies of our users evolve every 3 years? According to SimilarWeb, nearly 60% of web traffic is coming from mobile browsers, so the odds are that you are holding the answer in your hand right now.