Evolution of the Car into a Distributed IT System Drives the Functional Value of Automotive infotainment Systems

The global market for Automotive Infotainment Systems is forecast to reach US$58 billion by 2024, driven by the evolution of the car into a distributed IT system and the innovative rise of infotainment system as the master command center of the vehicle's entertainment, safety and connectivity functions.

OEM infotainment systems are today the most common carputer found in modern cars. As a carputer, an infotainment system acts like a specially designed computer adapted for operation in an automobile. They facilitate the management and operation of entertainment functions such as enabling Internet connectivity, navigation, playing music, movies, activating Bluetooth, GPS, and managing user interfaces to vehicle control systems such as climatizer, and hands-free calling, among others. Guiding trends for infotainment systems for 2018 and beyond include device consolidation/fusion and the resulting rise of infotainment systems as the master command center of the vehicle's entertainment and safety functions; growing preference for large size full cockpit infotainment displays; increasing speed of technology change and shortening software development cycles. Leading OEMs like BMW, for instance, now offer navigation through infotainment systems i.e. iDrive.

Infotainment systems also allows access to Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (or ADAS) supported by the development of software development kit (SDK) that provides the framework for integrating ADAS algorithms into existing in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems i.e. automotive-ready InfoADAS. Developed by Texas Instruments (TI), InfoADAS is a pluggable subsystem that helps OEMs turn traditional infotainment architectures into smart connected systems with minimal investments in R&D and bill-of-materials (BOM). Similarly, telematics can also be accessed through the infotainment systems in addition to docking smartphones to the infotainment systems. Vehicle safety functions of ITS can be also be integrated into infotainment systems via embedded V2X modules. The many IT functions of a modern car is driving fusion of multiple vehicle functions and features.

At the epicenter of this fusion trend is the car infotainment system as it offers the most convenient way of providing information to the driver. Application specific embedded chipsets allow infotainment systems to serve as navigation, telematics, and ADAS command center while enabling entertainment as supplementary functions. Until now a feature predominantly available only in luxury cars, infotainment systems are emerging into a common feature in all types of vehicles and models. By the year 2020, most cars will come equipped with an infotainment system as a carputer for a more rejuvenating cruise down information highway. Against this backdrop of infotainment systems evolving into command centers and the aggregation point for all of the vehicle information, the ongoing efforts to monetize the connected car sheds special importance on infotainment systems as a key prerequisite for service enablement.

Europe and Asia-Pacific dominate the market with almost equal might. Asia-Pacific represents the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 25.8% over the analysis period led by factors such as growing penchant for digital and electronic features and functions in an automobile among the growing base of affluent middle class population; rising willingness of vehicle owners to pay for software updates for infotainment systems that help improve and upgrade vehicle functionality and features; strong vehicle production growth in China and the ensuing opportunities in the OEM market; and increasing availability of affordable infotainment systems in the aftermarket.

Major players in the market include MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORPORATION, Foryou Corporation, Airbiquity Inc., AISIN AW Co., Ltd., Alpine Electronics, Inc., Huizhou Desay SV Automotive Co., Ltd., HYUNDAI MOBIS, Visteon Corporation, Clarion Corporation of America, Continental Automotive GmbH, Denso Corporation, Aptiv Inc., Flex Ltd., FUJITSU TEN LIMITED, Garmin Ltd., Harman International, Lexus International, Panasonic Corporation, Robert Bosch GmbH (Germany) u-blox, Intel Corporation, NVIDIA Corporation, Gemalto N.V., Broadcom Limited, NXP Semiconductors N.V., Renesas Electronics Corporation, Rohm Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics NV, Texas Instruments Incorporated, Google Inc., QNX Software Systems Limited, Apple, Inc., and Microsoft Corporation, among others.

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