The Digital Side of Driving Pleasure — BFFT’s Infotainment/HMI/Connect Department provides the best in on-the-road entertainment
The latest innovations in the fields of entertainment and communication are now expected to be found in our cars too. Whether it’s a report on the weather at our destination, a travel guide with Google’s Street View photos, world-wide internet radio, or music streaming—the infotainment offering as well as the digitalization of the car it is found in has increased. And it is likely to continue to be that way because the fast development cycles in the consumer electronics industry make it necessary for automobile manufacturers to keep up. As a result, the systematic protection of these complex services and functions also plays an ever more important role.
Included in the list of infotainment functions in cars are not only radio, navigation, audio, and rear seat entertainment systems, but also telephone services and the automobile manufacturer’s own apps and services. The term, “Connect” or if you prefer, connectivity defines those automobile services and functions that link the driver to his car and to his environment. Fetching e-mail and news via LTE or an integrated WLAN hot-spot, checking current traffic conditions or automatic distress calls after an accident — these functions make driving significantly safer and less stressful.
BFFT’s Infotainment/HMI/Connect Department specializes in the protection and support of such functions and is actively concentrating its work in three areas:
Protection and Support of Online Services
Cars of the newest generation are linked to the internet via the infotainment system and the connected gateway. That allows automobile manufacturers in cooperation with third-party providers to offer content that one associates classically with the smartphone (i.e. music streaming, display of convenient gas stations and events taking place within a particular search radius). In addition, new automobile-only services such as emergency calls in the event of an accident or an online call that provides long-distance diagnosis in the event of a breakdown are being offered. Our colleagues’ development services see to it that potential sources of failure are eliminated even before the start of production and that new functions work successfully and without glitches for the end customer, despite their increasing complexity.
Support of Sound Systems
Entertainment functions are becoming ever more important in the car. Qualitatively superior sound is a fundamental component of the best entertainment. New technologies like 3D-sound and special, sound-dampening materials are being transferred in quick order from the consumer industry into the automobile industry. That is why BFFT is working together with well-known premium audio manufacturers like Bang & Olufsen, BOSE, and others to guarantee that quality automobiles and quality sound go together. Sound measurements with premium measuring equipment, modifications of prototype vehicles and reference tests are among the efforts in which the Infotainment/HMI/Connect Division is engaged.
Support of the Navigation Function
The smartphone as navigation system and internet-based services like Google Maps represent more than an alternative to classic navigation in cars. That is why the goal of automobile manufacturers is to integrate these services into the vehicle. At the same time, the online linking makes it possible to offer new, complex navigation services (e.g. the direct approach to destinations that have been chosen online by smartphone).
The trend to so-called digitalization is seen by automobile manufacturers these days as an important field of electronic development. That is why the department is working closely with other BFFT departments like inspection technology, system and function protection, development concepts and tooling as well as with BFFT series development in Regensburg in order to be able to optimally protect the areas of infotainment, HMI and Connect for customers.
BFFT Gesellschaft für Fahrzeugtechnik mbH
Dr.-Ludwig-Kraus-Str. 2,85080 Gaimersheim
Tel.: +49 8458 3238-0