The number of MirrorLink and GENIVI car connected infotainment systems are forecast to increase to 27.9 million in North America, Western Europe and the Asia-Pacific region by the end of 2018. At the end of last year, the number of these systems stood at around 10,000.
This forecast is from ABI Research, which goes on to state that OEMs, which increasingly see infotainment as a key differentiator for their vehicles, must decide the mode of delivery. They can either go the route of an embedded on-board system or via the driver’s mobile phone, the agency said.
“At stake is whether the in-vehicle infotainment system remains a proprietary system controlled by a few OEMs, becomes an open eco-system nurtured by an international developer community, or whether connectivity, processing, and service delivery resides in the phone and is controlled by the mobile phone industry,” commented Gareth Owen, Principal Analyst.
The GENIVI Alliance is a non-profit consortium whose goal is to establish a globally competitive, Linux-based operating system, middleware and platform for the automotive in-vehicle infotainment industry. MirrorLink is a device interoperability standard that offers integration between a smartphone and a car’s infotainment system. This protocol is developed by members of the Car Connectivity Consortium.
Both the GENIVI Alliance and the Car Connectivity Consortium are global organisations, whose members include leading vehicle manufacturing, automotive supplier, mobile communications and consumer electronics companies.
In-vehicle connectivity is already well established in the market. Penetration is rising rapidly, market analysts state. In this regard, CAGR forecasts range from 21% up to 41% over the next few years.
There are, however, uncertainties facing vehicle manufacturers, such as which technology to build into the vehicle; how much to leave to portable devices that consumers will bring into it, and how to ensure that the interface between the two can accommodate the rapid developments that occur in the portable device market, Automotive World’s Connected Vehicles Technology Roadmap states.
One of the issues for stakeholders in the in-vehicle connectivity market is that of the need for standards. This is where GENIVI and MirrorLink come in. The US Department of Transportation and the European Commission are also collaborating on harmonisation and standards for connected vehicle systems.
Being open industry standards, GENIVI and MirrorLink are competing against established systems, such as BlackBerry’s proprietary QNX platform and Microsoft’s Embedded Automotive platform. According to ABI Research, MirrorLink in particular faces challenges from a number of competitors, and this could quickly lead to market fragmentation. These challenges concern app development and certification and the introduction of new screen replication technologies.
“GENIVI has strong support in the automotive industry but Apple’s imminent entry into the car space is a real threat for MirrorLink unless it can gain traction quickly. MirrorLink really needs to launch its version 1.1 quickly and get as many handset vendors as possible to introduce MirrorLink v1.1 compatible devices,” Owen observed.
In May this year, the GENIVI Alliance entered into a liaison agreement with Japan Automotive Software Platform and Architecture (JASPAR). The move was aimed at aligning networking software requirements for automotive Bluetooth and Ethernet, specific to in-vehicle infotainment systems, and related applications, by year-end.
This agreement is expected to help drive the collaboration of defined standards for these two technologies as areas of mutual interest for open source requirements alignment. Matt Jones, Vice President of GENIVI, believes that this agreement will ease the integration of wired and wireless communications for next-generation infotainment systems.