The infotainment system in a car refers to a system that delivers a combination of information and entertainment content/services. Typical features of an In-Vehicle-Infotainment system are – providing navigation features while driving, managing audio/visual entertainment content, delivering rear-seat entertainment, and connectivity with smartphones for a hands-free experience with the help of voice commands. Infotainment Options should create a Safer In-Car Experience helping drivers keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. Infotainment options like apps and menus need to be well organized and accessing features should be very intuitive to avoid drivers‟ distractions. Also, voice and audio commands need to anchor the in-car app platform and drivers should be able to navigate menus or create messages using voice commands. Audio should be the primary way to accept commands from the users. With the rapid growth in smartphone and Cloud technologies, consumers are demanding live streaming of music and Internet radio. Ideas for advanced infotainment features integrate both user behavior and the next level of cloud-based infotainment systems. Some of the examples of smartphone app integration software units are CarPlay, Google Projected Mode, Mirror Link, etc.
Faststream Technologies is an embedded product design company providing cutting-edge design services for building In-vehicle Infotainment solutions for leading automotive companies. By combining creativity, technical expertise, and refined processes, Faststream Technologies offers elegant embedded hardware and software design services that integrate audio, video, wireless technologies, DSP Algorithms and HMI, building intelligent, connected in-vehicle infotainment solutions.
The Driver Drowsiness Monitoring System uses automotive-grade image sensors that capture infrared images of the driver’s eyes, using patented pupil identification technology and a high-speed digital signal processor to analyze & identify if the driver is either drowsy or distracted. The contactless setup and a sophisticated algorithm give the device the ability to understand the state of drivers even in tricky conditions like in presence of strong lighting during noon hours, drivers wearing sunglasses, etc.
The ‘Control System Dashboard’ is the head unit of any automotive infotainment system. The touchscreen presents a compact display with large buttons and icons for safety and ease of operation during driving. The menu consists of multimedia icons to control and use various features such as radio, map, Bluetooth hands-free facility, music streaming, voice control, weather change, etc.
Voice recognition allows the driver to operate a car’s functions via voice command. By speaking directions, the driver can run features such as navigation, radio, phone media, call, and even air condition temperature, instead of using the physical buttons on the dashboard. In order to enhance comfort and safety for the driver and passengers, Voice recognition in cars is being gradually used. With voice commands, the driver will spend less time fiddling with buttons or touchscreens, and instead, both hands can be kept on the wheel and eyes kept on the road. Most the automotive cars have the capability to learn the driver’s voice over time and understand phrases and words that make it easier to use, while others are being developed to be able to respond to requests such as ‘I want to refuel – it’ll then give you your options as to where you’ll be able to find one nearby fuel station.
The car seat-back display also known as the rear-seat display is designed to entertain passengers sitting in the rear. The smart display screens offer an easy way for passengers to connect to AV devices without any hassle. The seat-back display unit allows passengers to enjoy music, shows, games, and even movies in high resolution via external memory devices or real-time streaming. In addition, to offer audio and video entertainment, rear-seat entertainment displays are now offering email and Internet connectivity. It can also provide information regarding the vehicle, its navigation, and its connectivity.
Integrating smartphones into cars or any other vehicle via the Infotainment system provides a safe, smart, and convenient way for drivers to use their smartphones on the go without any distraction. Pairing your smartphone with the vehicle infotainment system, either using hand-free Bluetooth connectivity, USB or Wi-Fi enables you to easily and conveniently access various features of the phone via the dashboard of the car. It allows the driver to make or receive calls, send a voice message, read texts, play music, and radio, stream data for navigation, play podcasts, and much more. One of the key features of a smartphone integrated solution is that it provides hands-free operations typically through voice recognition and text-to-speech interfaces of the smartphone. The Bluetooth paired smartphone with the infotainment system displays the phone’s contact list, messages, appointments, notifications, music details, and other information on the dashboard screen for easy access and a seamless user experience.
The biggest factor that separates the cars of today from previous cars is the integration of electronics, infotainment systems, and connectivity in almost every aspect. Over time, the car cockpit has evolved from integrating an after-market, pluggable audio system as an option to advanced in-built infotainment systems providing an enhanced experience to the driver. Large analog tuners and buttons have been replaced by touch screens and elegant soft-touch pads. The audio and video controls are elegantly integrated on steering wheels to provide a superior user experience and minimize safety-related issues.
The navigation system in automobiles uses GPS data to inform or alert the driver about traffic, congestion, collision, etc. Combining the use of interactive onboard maps and GPS data, the vehicle can plot the best routes to a given destination. The navigation system is also capable of accurately tracking the present place or live position of the vehicle to provide the information to the driver on-screen, without any distractions. This navigation system feature enhances the safety of the driver and passengers, and eventually reduces the stress level while driving.