Embedded Modem or Smartphone: What is the Best Way to Bring the Internet to the Car?

February 2, 2018

More and more automakers are putting modems in their vehicles to essentially turn the car into a smartphone on wheels. An embedded modem is “always on” even when the car is not, opening the door to features like remote vehicle start, locking/unlocking, remote car diagnosis and vehicle tracking. The car owner can then easily manage these functions through a smartphone companion app provided by the automaker.

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Understanding the Amazon Alexa APIs for In-Vehicle Use: Part II

December 18, 2017


This two-part blog post explores the Amazon Alexa APIs and their applicability for in-vehicle use.

Part I of the series  provided an overview of Alexa and its current uses in an automotive context. Part II describes specific Alexa functions and how they can be used in automotive systems, and then provides a possible implementation architecture with a focus on using Alexa in the vehicle.


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Is Software Finally "Eating" the Car?

June 8, 2017

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.

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What's Right for Your IVI Systems: Embedded Modems or Smartphones?

November 5, 2015

As more connected cars come to market, OEMs are wrestling with the best way to make cars part of the digital lifestyle. Today’s car buyers have become used to managing their lives via their smartphones, and they want the smartphone to become part of the connected car experience. So the challenge facing OEMs is identifying the best strategy to provide a connection that creates a branded automotive experience and still meets car buyers’ expectations. At the most basic level, it requires OEMs to decide whether to use an embedded modem to build connectivity into the IVI head unit, or whether to rely on smartphones to support infotainment systems.

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IVI Lockdown: Top Difficulties OEMs Face in an iOS and Android Universe

October 21, 2015

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a common standard for all technology platforms? Developers and engineers would have one common set of protocols and design parameters so everything would be compatible. Unfortunately, industry standards often run counter to competitive advantage. One manufacturer or software developer wants their platform to dominate so their intellectual property controls the markets. At the same time, consumers are demanding more features and functions in their cars. To differentiate their brands, OEMs need to develop new connected car technologies, but what’s the best development strategy in a fragmented mobile market?

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6 Apps Millennials Will Demand In Your Connected Car's IVI

September 15, 2015

Connected car technology and in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems promise to help drive car sales in the years ahead, but the IVI system is simply a delivery mechanism – it’s only as valuable as what it delivers. As with any type of media delivery system, and IVI is essentially a media platform, the quality of the content is what drives the sale of the hardware. Blu-ray players don’t sell without Blu-ray movies, and iPhones outsell Androids in North America largely because there are so many cool apps for the iOS platform. If manufacturers are going to build connected car systems that appeal to the Millennials, the next generation of car buyers, then they need to have the right apps that appeal to the 25- to 35-year old consumers.

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4 Signs the Automotive Infotainment Market is About to Explode

June 4, 2015

Manufacturers are building more intelligence into automobiles every day. Head units are becoming more sophisticated with more features being added all the time. What sells consumers is the cool stuff they can see and touch, like the infotainment system. As auto infotainment systems add more features for reduced costs, the scramble is on for OEMs to stay ahead of the next big infotainment trend to keep pace with the market.

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