Journey towards Digital Mobility

This was IAV's motto at the CES 2017 where it presented ten showcases and five demonstrator vehicles

Shopping just while driving, feeling comfortable in the empathetic car, driving with the aid of the virtual copilot or enjoying movies and games en route: at the CES 2017 (January 5 to 8) in Las Vegas, visitors at the IAV booth were invited on a journey to the future of digital mobility. Many happily took up the offer, with exhibits at the booth and also the IAV demonstrator vehicles drawing in the crowds.

The vehicle as cloud service

One of these was the Cloud Car packed full of IAV innovations. Two additional control units and a security gateway connect the vehicle with the cloud and with mobile devices. This is what leads to the empathetic car: smart phones or wearables such as fitness wrist bands supply current biometric data which are transmitted via Bluetooth into the vehicle. Algorithms then provide information about how the driver feels (current stress levels, for example). In response, the Cloud Car reconfigures the illumination of the passenger compartment, the A/C or the infotainment system to make the journey as pleasant as possible.

This is also where the Cloud Car's virtual copilot comes in, particularly for people who have not been driving long. Like the co-pilot in a rally, the virtual assistant gives current tips for optimized driving. It can tell inexperienced drivers, for example, when it is time to change gear, or that a bend is approaching so they had better reduce speed. In future, the co-pilot could even trigger an emergency stop in case of an accident or other emergency situation.

Remote diagnostics bring vehicle diagnostics out of the dealership or repair garage and makes them part of the car owner's mobile lifestyle. In the event of a breakdown, the driver can contact a service center via the cloud at any time; the service center imports the vehicle information via the internet for remote troubleshooting. Instead of waiting hours for a car mechanic, the driver can remedy the fault on his own with the support of an app. If he or she still has to take the car to the garage, any needed spare parts have already been ordered.

"These few examples already show the fascinating opportunities that will become possible through digitization in the years ahead", says Kurt Blumenröder, IAV President. "We saw this quite clearly at the CES: visitors were thrilled with the new assistant in the Cloud Car and made thorough use of the opportunity to test drive our demo vehicle. This gave us important confirmation that IAV is on the right course with its digitization strategy."

Bringing the IT and automotive worlds closer together

In this context, IAV champions cooperation with partners such as Hewlett Packard (HP). At the CES, IAV and HP presented a BMWi3 equipped with an integrated IoT (Internet of Things) platform by HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprises) for a feasibility study. The platform has access to all bus systems in the vehicles and uses all protocols for communication between the vehicle and its surroundings. The generated data are grouped together in a central system unit and normalized; security and access rules are then applied. As a result, new services become possible, such as closing the roof of a convertible in response to rain sensor data from vehicles in front, or automatically switching the lights on when crossing a state border.

Despite permanent vehicle connectivity, both vehicle data and the user's personal data still have to be reliably protected. Proven encryption and authentication systems can fend off hacker attacks but demand an elaborate, end-to-end security concept. At the CES, the Security Demonstrator, again developed in cooperation with HP, showed visitors what this means in practice. A special attack generator simulated hacker attacks in wireless media such as Wi-Fi, LTE and Bluetooth, and demonstrated possible effects on the vehicle. Such attacks were reliably detected and prevented by the Secure Communication Gateway developed by IAV.

"Customers won't accept the connected vehicle without the best possible data security", emphasizes Jean Wagner-Douglas, IAV's Executive Vice President for Vehicle Dynamics. "We therefore felt it very important to discuss this whole issue with our visitors at the CES. Cooperating with HP is very helpful for putting the latest IT security standards in the vehicle."

The vehicle as shopping cart and pay platform

The latest possibilities offered by the connected vehicle also include mobile shopping. In future, drivers can use the AutoMotive MarketPlace to fulfill long-standing wishes en route or spontaneously do the shopping "just while driving". Secure, convenient payment is then handled by the payment system from IAV's partner Concardis (see also interview on page 8). "Together with local retailers, for the first time OEMs now have a direct, highly attractive channel to their customers. They can use the Automotive MarketPlace to advertise their special campaigns or to remind customers about upcoming appointments for a car service", says Christian Müller-Bagehl, IAV head of vehicle cockpits.

The vehicle as service provider and office

IAV also joined forces with NXP and Microsoft at this year's CES to present the current status of highly automated driving. Visitors could sit in a VW Golf Variant and be driven through public traffic around the exhibition center – with IAV safety driver Lars Eggenstein behind the wheel only in case of an emergency. The vehicle moved confidently on the roads without any need for human intervention. It was equipped with Car2X technology to permit radio communication with the surroundings, such as a construction vehicle at the roadside, so that it could drive around being automatically adjusted to the infrastructure.

The passengers could try out numerous additional services while the car was driving. Microsoft's intelligent personal assistant Cortana let them interact with the Cloud and gave them access to the full range of Office applications right through to interaction with the vehicle. "It is our great pleasure to cooperate with Microsoft and NXP to show users the many advantages of connectivity and autonomous driving for the passengers, demonstrating how advanced our technology already is", explains Udo Wehner, IAV Executive Vice President for Integral Vehicle Functions. The CES visitors were very impressed: most slots were booked well in advance of the trade show, and the IAV test vehicle was kept busy all day reliably doing its circuits around the exhibition center in Las Vegas.

The vehicle as entertainment platform

Besides mobile shopping, Connected Entertainment also promises more fun in the digital vehicle. At the CES, IAV and its partner Netrange presented a new platform for digital value adding services in the car. This uses the OS.CAR software which can be integrated in existing infotainment systems to give almost unlimited access to films, TV channels, apps and games. When using OS.CAR, all copyright issues have already been clarified so that no separate contracts are necessary between OEMs and content suppliers. Furthermore, all generated data are saved solely in Europe or as stipulated by the OEM, thus taking care of data protection and privacy aspects.

The enthusiasm shown by trade show visitors in Las Vegas clearly illustrated that the convergence of IT and automotive worlds is opening up a new chapter in the history of vehicle development. The journey to the future of digital mobility has begun: and together with our partners, we are going to be part of it.