This week, developers and others at Google I/O are getting an advance look at Volvo’s full-featured infotainment platform that will be in their next generation of connected cars. For those lucky enough to get behind the wheel, it’s easy to see and appreciate the power and simplicity of the awesome new experiences enabled by Intel and Android* Nougat. A high-res screen provides drivers with easy access to maps, music, communication, voice action, apps, fuel levels, and other key engine and operating functions.
Less obvious is the incredible amount of work Intel did to help ensure this infotainment system works great on the latest Android* build for automotive and how the Intel® GO™ automotive platform for in-vehicle experiences (IVE) provides benefits to developers and automakers alike.
A sneak peek at the new Volvo in-car infotainment and connectivity solution seems like the perfect time to highlight why we work so hard to make sure we are in lock step with Google’s Android developments. We want to make it easy to rapidly deploy Android on Intel architecture for in-vehicle experiences development. Our platform requires minimal testing and delivers an industry-leading IVE system for the fast-evolving automated car market.
A big key to success is Intel’s participation in a real-world testing program, using Android as the development platform for next-gen IVE systems. This allows us to work with Google on feature development, debugging, expediting Android development for automobiles, and ensuring a seamless Android experience on Intel platforms. And with access to Google’s pre-release code, Intel can help ensure our board support packages (BSPs) are customer-ready for new Android releases, so customers can immediately use these boards.
Ultimately, our goal is for automotive developers to understand that Intel-based platforms are fully compatible with the latest release of Android. Our Android enablement efforts mean customers need to do minimal work before shipping their Intel-powered Android vehicles to market. This is because the Intel GO platform for IVE development is one of the platforms used to validate Android powered in-vehicle experience development.
There are a few ways our customers in the automotive industry can reduce costs. First, enabling Android for the Intel GO development platform helps our customers using Android as their development OS have reduced development costs. Powered by the Intel Atom® A3900 series processors, automotive developers have access to highly integrated, power-efficient compute performance needed to support IVE systems, digital instrument clusters, and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in a very cost-effective way.
And second, the virtualization technology in the Intel® Lightweight Virtual Machine Monitor helps automakers cut costs by consolidating workloads of multiple engine control units (ECUs) onto a single Intel automotive SoC. This allows for effective separation of safety critical functions that run outside and alongside the Android IVE system. This consolidation and partitioning ensures that each OS gets enough memory, bandwidth, and CPU allocation.
The Intel GO development platform for IVE can accommodate a wide variety of designs while offering impressive graphic and audio capabilities and hardened security features, such as the root of trust through hardware back-key stores. This helps create more robust security, requiring a driver to authenticate when they start the car. Software in the car must pass with a specific key to proceed to the next step in the boot flow. Layered security with hardware root of trust, along with Intel’s rich history in advanced security technology deployment, make the Intel GO development plaform for IVE a foundation auto makers can trust.
Navigating what’s next
IVE systems powered by Android and Intel are increasingly integrated into every user-facing system in the car, from climate control and audio controls to the speedometer. We are continually improving existing platforms and working with the industry to quickly develop new ones. That means developers can rapidly expand their breadth of products, cut time to market, increase competitiveness, and quickly engage fast-changing markets.
We’re always excited to advance new technologies. And we are particularly enthusiastic about how Volvo showcases the benefits of the Intel GO automotive development platform. I’m sure people who purchase Volvo’s next generation of cars will be as well.
Imad Sousou, Vice President, Software and Services Group at Intel
General Manager, Open Source Technology Center