Nov 2010 Newsletter Autotechinsider Llc


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Autotechinsider November newsletter covering the recent 201 SAE Convergence, and up coming SEMA and 2011 Consumer Electronics Shows

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Nov 2010 Newsletter Autotechinsider Llc

  1. 1. Overview—Industry Resurgence At the SAE Convergence held October 19-20 at Cobo Hall, Detroit, we saw the early signs of recovery in our industry. Auto electronics leaders have attended this conference every two years for the last 30 years. This confer- ence is the opportunity to understand and dis- cuss strategy and to see the new technologies associated with automotive electronics on a broad front, from safety, powertrain (now EV/ hybrids) to infotainment. Convergence is the “premier transportation electronics event at- tracting leading executives, engineers and technologists from around the globe”. It was fitting that Ford and Microsoft organized the event as Ford just announced additional signs of resurgence, retiring debt and announcing a profitable third quarter (1.7B profit, $.43/share earnings and the sixth consecutive quarter of net profit). Also, on the way to Convergence as I traveled down I94 into Detroit, my eyes were drawn to the new Gentex bill board advertising open- ings for software engineers. It has been sev- eral years since I’ve seen the public display of these opportunities. Hiring is slowly occurring in key technology areas (e.g. software, wire- less, etc.) as needed to execute new pro- grams adopting electronics. A key take away from Convergence is that electronics is important, not only from a functional viewpoint – safety and EV, but as the means to differentiate the vehicle and brand. Derrick Kuzak, Ford Executive VP made this point in his keynote, detailing the role of the Signature HMI and technologies in Ford vehicles (e.g. SYNC, Fusion Hybrid cluster, Taurus – “the most innovative car”, etc.). The Automotive Forum sponsored by Nuance reinforced the strategic importance of the HMI (see MyTouchLincoln as shown on the exhibition floor below). Nuance advocates voice technology as the key enabler to the safe, useable and desir- able HMI. Look to Ford SYNC, OnStar, ATX and others leading in the application of con- nectivity to our vehicles to see the impor- tance of voice. We provide a brief report on Nuance’s Auto Forum on page 4 The purpose of this newsletter is to survey Convergence, especially the infotainment related products/technologies and to identify opportunities and developments of interest A U T O T E C H I N S I D E R , L L C AutoTechInsider Newsletter N O V / D E C 2 0 1 0 Automotive Electronics in Recovery – 2010 Convergence Conference Version 1 10-30 I N S I DE TH I S I S S UE : 2010 Convergence Industry Resurgence 1 Convergence Keynotes 2 Convergence Exhibitions 3 Nuance Auto Forum 4 Telematics/ IntelliDrive at Convergence 4 SEMA and CES — Key Events to Follow 5 About Us/ Contact Info 5
  2. 2. P A G E 2 to our Autotechinsider friends and clients. At the end of this newsletter we talk about a spe- cial offer as we will be attending and reporting on key events associated with automotive electronics. Our goal once again is to provide valuable and affordable business and technol- ogy intelligence reports. Microsoft and Ford Keynotes – Consumer in the Driver Seat Back to what we learned at Convergence, the Microsoft keynote underscored a theme of Convergence that the “consumer is in the driver’s seat”. Microsoft is not only offering Win- dows as part of the infotainment system, SYNC, but will partner with Ford to provide an inte- grated home energy management system, called Holm, with the car. Microsoft’s Holm allows the car owner to determine the best time to charge their EV/plug-in. Derrick Kuzak best articulated the theme of the customer in the driver’s seat, by identifying the key features as quality, green, safe and smart. Smart was defined as leadership in interiors, especially infotainment, typified by Ford SYNC - leadership achieved through a steady and consistent stream of signature (branded) tech- nologies. The newly announced Applink will open up the Ford cars, such as the new 2011 Fiesta, to smart phone applications, of two types: 1. designed especially for Ford, such as Drivers Ed 2.0 2. or popular phone apps such as Pandora, Twitter, etc. adapted to the auto Ford is partnering with many new companies, non-traditional CE companies as a key ele- ment of the strategy to be innovative and first to market. Carmaker Speak – The role of suppliers is changing We have attended Convergence, since the late 1990s and consider the Carmakers Blue Rib- bon Panel, moderated by Paul Hansen of the Paul Hansen Report fame, a highlight of the conference. This panel included the chief electrical engineers from Ford, GM, Honda, Chrys- ler, PSA and BMW. The group addressed nine questions offered by Paul Hansen and a few others that came from the floor. The questions addressed the challenges of increasing com- plexity, the tradeoffs between using virtual and physical prototypes for testing, software secu- rity, the changing role of suppliers, and the growing challenges of hybrid powertrains, thermal management, and intelligent highway systems. The panel also talked about newer standards, and Paul challenged the panelists to comment on whether or not they are implementing them in their coming products. The standards dis- cussed included AUTOSAR, Flexray, GENIVI (Linux based), Android, Nokia’s Terminal Mode, Ethernet, and Bluetooth Message Access Protocol. It was especially interesting that BMW said they plan to implement all of these standards while Ford and Honda only plan to make use of one or two of them. We expect, as Ford stated, that manufacturers would imple- ment the standards that make good business. Therefore we should expect a variety of imple- mentations or “ecosystems” to emerge using these standards. “a theme of Convergence that the “consumer is in the driver’s seat”. ” A U T O T E C H I N S I D E R 2010 Convergence Keynotes/Panels - Continued “Convergence continues to be a defining event, providing us insight into the future of auto electronics .”
  3. 3. P A G E 3 Convergence Exhibition – New Technologies and Tools available Eighty two exhibitors, as listed by SAE, were present with Ford and Microsoft having large and busy booths as shown below. Several companies such as QNX, Microsoft, BSquare, Elektrobit, WindRiver (GENIVI) and MECEL showed new tools and capabilities for improv- ing time to market for software and user inter- face development. An example is shown to the right, a new user interface tool development environment from MECEL. QNX supports mobile applications; a platform- agnostic approach is promoted to deliver con- nectivity to a variety of devices. For example, both Noika’s Terminal Mode and Apple’s ap- proach to display content from an iPhone or iPod touch was demoed. These technologies were showcased in the Corvette to include a multimedia head unit and a dynamically reconfigurable digital instrument cluster. In conclusion, Convergence continues to be a defining event, providing us insight into the future of auto electronics. We might expect an off/gap year program to provide technical papers in the same manner as Convergence. SAE is looking for our thoughts and ideas as to an alternative method/format. I have sug- gested a Webinar format. A U T O T E C H I N S I D E R 2010 Convergence Exhibition - Continued
  4. 4. Last week Dave McNamara attended the first Nuance auto forum held in North America. Nuance has held similar technical and networking events with their clients and partners in Europe and Asia with great success. Nuance has emerged as the leader of voice technology, thanks to their commitment and hard work over the years. Voice has arrived as the key user interface technology. Ford SYNC has validated the importance and market ac- ceptance of voice for complex data entry such as music search – “speech is the natural way to interface to music”. The launch of Ford SYNC in Europe and the expanded launch as MyTouch Ford/MyTouch Lincoln in NA will widen global market acceptance. As mentioned in the Telematics Update User interface Report, the 30 or so HMI experts interviewed agreed, “voice is of strategic importance to a compelling and easy to use interface”. The forum, held at the elegant MGM Detroit venue, presented the audience, attended by about 120, with an objec- tive and in-depth understanding of not only the recent market trends but the best practices in integrating voice. We learned voice has expanded its utility beyond voice control to music search - to new features such as SMS dictation and will eventually support new in-car social networking apps. We hope Nuance decides to return to Detroit next year!! A report on the Nuance Auto Forum – Voice the User Interface of Choice! P A G E 4 Telematics and IntelliDrive at Convergence There were several excellent technical papers presented at the session, Smart Safety is Connected, relative to Telematics and IntelliDrive. Notable were the following papers relative to new applications, (e.g. voice based and EV related), hybrid system design for embedded and personal phone communications and modeling, assessing and determining the benefits of IntelliDrive: - 2010-01-2313, Commercial Business Viability of IntelliDriveSM Safety Applications, Robert White, Tao Zhang, Paul Tukey, Kevin Lu, Telcordia Technologies; David McNamara, MTS LLC - 22010-01-2314, Realizing Customization and Personalization through Vehicle Connectivity, Niall T. Berkery, ATX Group - 2010-01-2315, Connected Vehicle Accelerates Green Driving, Tsuguo Nobe, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. - 2010-01-2316, Digital Maps, Connectivity and Electric Vehicles - Enhancing the EV/PHEV Ownership Experience, Kevin Moran, Brendan Foley, Ulrich Fastenrath, Jeff Raimo, NAVTEQ - 2010-01-2317, Using IntelliDriveSM Connectivity to Improve Mobility and Environmental Preservation at Signalized Intersections, Roger Berg, Denso International America Inc.
  5. 5. P A G E 5 Key Events to Follow – 2010 SEMA in November and 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in January This is an exciting season for automotive electronics. The Special Equipment Manufacturers Equipment, (SEMA) “aftermarket” an- nual show held in Las Vegas opens in early November. The after- market will showcase their ingenuity and importantly their partner- ship with OEMs to seamlessly integrate new and compelling fea- tures/functions. For example, Ford will recognize craftsmanship, ingenuity through its vehicle design awards. This Ford award rec- ognizes unique vehicles that make a significant contribution to vehi- cle design. OEMs continue to open the car’s interior to the plethora of consumer devices and are working closely with the “aftermarket”. The other key event on our calendar is the Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas, January 6-9th. We expect Mr. Mulally, CEO of Ford, to again use the CES venue to make industry defining announcements – what will Ford SYNC pioneer next? The Audi Chairman, Rupert Stadler, will join Mulally to make CES an auto show. Audi will be the first luxury car to exhibit at the Electric Vehicle Techzone. The Consumer Telematics Show, will be held the day prior to CES. This event, sponsored by Telematics Update, will focus on the ap- plication of Telematics, connectivity and wireless to vehicles. AutoTechInsider LLC is always delighted by what we learn by attending these industry-defining shows!! As a service to our customers, we are making both of our new expanded reports - SEMA 2010 and CES 2010 available to our clients for the discounted price of $399 – an offer avail- able until January 4, 2011. Note: after Jan 4th the reports will be sold separately for $199 and $399 respectively. These will be extensive reports - a full narrative, photos and analysis based on a walk through the shows. I think you will agree this is a value and that you should take advantage of this offer. These are challenging, but promising times for our industry – resurgence! . Please visit our site to place your order and to obtain past reports, many of them free. Dave McNamara Phone_ 734-645-1598 Craig Simonds Phone: 313-408-0640 E-mail: The automobile industry is profoundly affected by adjacent industries that produce the technologies that are involved, directly or indirectly, in the production of a vehicle. Since the percentage of a given vehicle's cost re- lated to electronics, software, networking solutions, and related services continues to grow, we are most interested in these technology areas. Based own our extensive experience in the automotive industry, we cover major events and produce insightful reports on the technologies, the com- panies, and the trends that we believe will have a significant impact in the near future. AutoTechInsider, LLC Insights For The Automotive Industry See you at SEMA, CES and CTIA! We’re on the Web