The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has long been a playground for innovation, and this year's event was no exception, especially in the automotive industry. With heavyweights like Hyundai, Kia, BMW, Tesla, and Mercedes-Benz in attendance, the stage was set for a display of cutting-edge technology designed to shape the future of mobility.
With increasing integrations between big tech and the automotive industry, the software-defined car represents a significant revolution in the automotive industry and was a dominant theme for this year's CES. Paving the way for greater flexibility, personalisation, and innovation across infotainment, safety and autonomy it's easy to understand why.
The software-defined future of automobiles provides increased connectivity, data exchange, and intelligent decision- integrating seamlessly between our vehicles, home and work to deliver interactive experiences that cater to a variety of needs.
Key to this transformation are several core benefits:
Efficiency - a key consideration for both manufacturers and consumers Software-defined solutions enable greater optimisation of vehicle performance, energy usage, and resource allocation. By leveraging software to control and manage various vehicle systems, manufacturers can design cars that are overall more efficient.
Open Architecture - the shift towards open architecture in automotive software is driven by the need for interoperability, flexibility, and collaboration. This was evident at CES when we consider the large number of innovative new software platforms set to transform the traditional supply chain to OEMs. With interchangeable software components, these SW solutions can be easily integrated into different vehicles and systems including subscription services. This openness encourages innovation for app developers and faster development cycles.
Scalability: essential for accommodating the growing complexity and diversity of automotive software applications and services, including AI. Software facilitates ease of upgrade, without requiring significant changes to the underlying hardware or infrastructure. Such scalability also allows vehicles to adapt to changing user preferences and technological advancements.
Future-Proofing: rapid transformation is evident in the industry. With increasing collaboration and with big tech driving technological advancements, regulatory changes, and shifting consumer preferences. Investing in efficient, open, and scalable automotive solutions, allows manufacturers to build infrastructures that not only prevent obsolescence but also allow compatibility with newly emerging technologies and changing standards.
Of course these advantages presented new challenges
- Cybersecurity: With increased connectivity comes the risk of cybersecurity threats. Manufacturers must therefore implement robust security measures for now and the future.
- Data Privacy: Connected cars generate vast amounts of data, raising concerns about privacy and data protection. Manufacturers need to establish clear policies and safeguards to ensure the responsible handling of customer data.
- Interoperability: As vehicles become more reliant on software, collaboration between different software systems and components becomes increasingly important to ensure compatibility and seamless integration. A welcome change for many, this is supporting the growth of diverse partnership ecosystems.
CES highlighted the revolution of the software-defined car, effectively demonstrating a fundamental shift towards connectivity, and innovation enhancing user experiences in the vehicles of tomorrow. For me it demonstrated that the revolution is so large that it cannot be accomplished by the traditional OEMs on their own. A total change of paradigm in the supply chain is required, and small innovative companies need to partner in a pool with Tier 1s instead of hanging under the Tier 2s as it happened before.
FocalPoint is one of these small innovative companies that is finding its role in the new supply chain for software defined vehicles. Our S-GNSS software solution is an upgrade to an existing GNSS receiver. It enhances the accuracy, reliability and security of the GNSS sensor, helping to extend hands-free driving into roads under tree cover and even in urban environments, that up to now posed significant challenges to GNSS sensors.