HARMAN Announces HTML-5-Based Infotainment Platform

January 10, 2014  by  


HARMAN announced an HTML-5-based in-vehicle infotainment platform for rapid development of connected car apps and protection against cyber security threats.

Separate computing domains in a type 1 hypervisor secure critical vehicle functions from errant or malicious software for “automotive grade” robustness that, according to HARMAN, is the first of its kind in the industry.

The architecture also integrates advanced driver assist functions such as Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and other safety features into the infotainment system to bring sensor-based safety features to a wide range of vehicles through a higher level of system integration.

The platform is ready now, and HARMAN said drivers can expect to experience it within the next two years.

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,” says Sachin Lawande, president, HARMAN Infotainment Division.

“In-vehicle infotainment has traditionally not offered this capability – even though cars are increasingly connected. 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.

Automotive Grade Security

As cars become more connected, car hacking is becoming a serious threat that is forcing the industry to consider how to protect vehicles against cyber-attacks.

The next-generation HARMAN infotainment system resolves this challenge by using type 1 hypervisor on multi-core processors to implement two separate system domains that are isolated from each other. One domain manages critical car functions such as vehicle network communication, and the second domain handles infotainment applications such as navigation and Internet access.

The infotainment domain is securely firewalled from the vehicle domain, preventing any impact on safety-relevant features in the car. In addition, HARMAN has implemented advanced security techniques such as secure boot and data encryption. The combination creates a Trusted Infotainment Architecture that offers unmatched security.

Integrated ADAS

The multi-processor architecture, combined with the hypervisor-based separation of domains, also enables the HARMAN platform to take an innovative approach to offer driver assistance and safety. Instead of using separate devices for infotainment and advanced driver assistance capabilities such as lane departure warning and collision warning systems, the HARMAN system integrates both into the same platform. ADAS software from HARMAN is seamlessly integrated with infotainment software to offer a suite of camera-based ADAS apps that leverage the computing resources of the platform to reduce cost and extend these safety apps to a wider range of vehicles.

Google Glass

At the Consumer Electronics Show (2014) HARMAN demoed the integration of Google Glass with its advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) engine and claimed to be the first Tier 1 automotive supplier to launch ADAS implementation on wearable devices, a market it said is projected to exceed $5B in 2016.

The system uses an Android camera feed and image processing to analyze potential road risks in real-time and provide alerts through the Google Glass. The concept demonstrates how a driver can receive headway alerts, collision and off-road warnings delivered straight to Google Glass, along with emergency or warning messages.

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