Harman’s new scalable infotainment platform. Or, how to have your Raspberry Pi and eat it too!

Sections: Car Audio, Car Safety, Car Security, Infotainment, Navigation, Telematics

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Yesterday we took a look at the integration of the Raspberry Pi into a Honda Civic and wondered the possibilities.  Well, if you take a look at Harman’s new scalable infotainment system, you can see where we are headed when we look at the hardware and software from a major supplier.

We were able to touch base with Kelei Shen, Harman’s Senior Vice President of Infotainment.  Specifically, I had some questions about the Linux-based system and how it might fit in with GENIVI specification.  According to Shen, HARMAN takes it a step further:

“The platform meets all Genivi specification, however, it goes further than just GENIVI. It also addresses app framework on the device side — Android or HTML5 — as well as security within the infotainment head unit,” Shen said.

Additionally, I was interested in the collision warning systems as referenced in the video, and the software is from Harman, too.  This makes perfect sense from a company also making forays into the Heads-Up Display (HUD) world.

Of course, even more impressive is this infotainment system is one of the first to address the potential of vehicle hacking from malware. As more devices are brought into the vehicle, the potential to crack the firewall and gain access into the BCM or PCM is possible. Harman segregates what the infotainment is doing so the vehicle can concentrate on throttle, braking, and steering inputs. Could you imagine what malware could do to advanced braking systems. Rear-end collision and lawsuit central!

Clearly Harman is making forays into the HTML 5 and Linux worlds to bring us a product that will be right at home in tomorrow’s vehicles. The video references all of the possibilities.

Harman Infotainment Division President Sachin Lawande said, “Our next-generation infotainment platform by paves the way to an app ecosystem in the world of in-car infotainment. With automotive-grade Linux as the underlying OS and HTML5 as the application environment, developers will be able to create applications for the infotainment system using commonly understood technologies such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. With smartphones and tablets, people are now accustomed to customizing their mobile computing experience through downloadable apps.

“In-vehicle infotainment has traditionally not offered this capability – even though cars are increasingly connected,” Lawande continued. “We’re excited to start this transformation with our next-generation scalable infotainment platform. This new platform offers users the customizability and upgradability they know from other devices.”

To provide users with a wide range of choices of applications, Harman will offer an app store on the established Harman Cloud Services Platform, as well as work with OEMs to provide OEM-hosted solutions.

Look for this infotainment platform to hit the streets in models less than two years down the pike.

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