Consumers increasingly desire rich multimedia experiences in their vehicles, so OEMs need to determine which technologies to invest in, which partnerships will work best, how to differentiate their offerings, and how to maintain ownership.
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Cinemo Provides the Entire Vehicle Experience
In November, Cinemo announced the launch of Cinemo Projection Plus, the first automotive solution that expands Apple’s CarPlay and Android Auto Projection to the rear seats. Cinemo Projection Plus will use a locally hosted service using the UPnP protocol to project content from connected handsets to the other connected devices in the vehicle. The head unit can then be used to control and manage the distributed multimedia to rear seat tablets, providing a complete in-vehicle experience
The need for next-generation infotainment experiences is being spurred on by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) looking to provide rich, unique multi-media experiences in the vehicle and maintain ownership of the overall driving experience as consumer requirements shift. This trend will see consumers place less emphasis on traditional differentiators like total cost of ownership and driving performance, placing more emphasis on the in-vehicle experience, with rich multimedia experiences forming the backbone, enabled by prevailing trends like 5G and Artificial Intelligence (AI). To enable these rich multimedia experiences, OEMs need to make the right investments and form the correct partnerships, which will help differentiate their in-vehicle experience from competitors, while also maintaining control of the in-vehicle experience.
Infotainment Experience Development Pivotal to OEM Ownership of Vehicle Experience
The Cinemo Projection Plus solution provides a way of enabling OEMs to enrich and distinguish their existing infotainment experience from competitors. In market adjacencies, distributed video and audio has long been a key differentiating factor for high-end installer smart home systems. Cinemo now enables OEMs to apply the same differentiating factor to their vehicles. The technology does not require installing any additional embedded software or hardware elements in the vehicle, enabling OEMs to retrofit the technology to any capable vehicle. Furthermore, the functionality of the system can be tuned to OEMs’ requirements. For instance, the infotainment unit can be set up as the main central control unit or each device in the vehicle can operate independently. This retrofit and flexible design will likely sit well with OEMs as it will allow the application of Cinemo Projection Plus to any vehicle, without needing any additional elements, while also providing a great degree of flexibility and personalization.
Over the upcoming years, infotainment and other in-vehicle experiences, such as voice control, will start to take central stage in the overall vehicle experience. Although OEMs may wish to control as much of the in-vehicle experience as they can, there is no means by which OEMs alone can keep apace of the level of innovation sustained by big technology companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple. Partnerships with companies like Cinemo allow OEMs to augment their current infotainment offerings, providing richer user experiences without having to cede control of the overall infotainment experience.
OEMs Require Partnerships to Advance User Experience
OEMs, to date, have struggled to deliver a rich multimedia experience in the vehicle that lives up to consumer expectations. Despite initial steep resistance, this quickly paved the way for widespread adoption of Android Auto Projection and Apple CarPlay protocols in the vehicle. Furthermore, other companies, such as Amazon through its Alexa voice assistant, have found a route into the vehicle, which surpassed what OEMs were able to provide. However, OEMs are now at a pivotal crossroads. As more technology companies become integrated into the car, the more it becomes part of the overall driving experience. OEMs will now to need to ensure that they strike the correct balance between providing better consumer experiences through enabling features like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Alexa Voice services, while also maintaining their core brand identity.
The in-vehicle experience will also be key to future mobility services. With no driver in the vehicle, the driving experience will be irrelevant, second to the in-trip experience for passengers. Similar to OEMs, ride hailing services like Ola Cabs have also chosen to partner with third-party companies to enrich the in-vehicle experience. Ola Cabs’ partnership with Microsoft Azure will enable Microsoft services, such as Cortana voice control and Skype, to be used in-vehicle. However, crucially, these services will be integrated into Ola Cabs’ existing in-car entertainment platform, Play, enabling riders to choose and stream music and videos, and ensuring that Ola Cabs maintains control of the in-vehicle experience. OEMs should take similar steps to ensure they offer rich in-vehicle experiences, while maintaining control of the in-vehicle experience.
Companies like Cinemo represent suitable partners for OEMs. The infotainment middleware will allow OEMs to enrich their existing infotainment experience, through distributed video and audio, however, the technology is integrated into the existing in-car media platform owned by the OEMs. The application of Cinemo Projection Plus will allow OEMs to integrate the Android Auto and CarPlay protocols to complement their embedded solutions, delivering application flexibility. In this regard, Cinemo Projection Plus functions as an infotainment add-on and augmentation tool, rather a replacement. Other third-party companies that are working within the infotainment space should also look to Cinemo Projection Plus as an example of what OEMs are truly seeking. This is one way to enrich the in-vehicle experience, while also offering flexibility and a wide scope for application personalization.