[Ecosystem] How Far Have We Come with Automotive Contents? Embracing the Era of SDV Transition


[Ecosystem] How Far Have We Come with Automotive Contents?
Embracing the Era of SDV(Software-Defined Vehicle) Transition

May 1, 2024 
DRIMAES product mentioned within these articles are offered by DRIMAES, Inc.

Automotive infotainment and content have certainly been constants throughout the evolution of cars, growing and evolving together. Despite its significant history, why hasn’t it caught more attention? Now, with substantial changes sweeping the automotive industry and redefining car UX in previously unimaginable ways, we explore the before and after from the perspective of Total mobility solution provider, DRIMAES.

SDV as a Bridge in the Evolution of Connectivity and User Experience

Today’s cars have transcended their role as mere transportation methods, morphing into highly connected hubs of information and entertainment. Modern in-car infotainment systems offer larger, more intuitive touchscreens, advanced audio systems, and access to a variety of streaming services. These technologies allow users to enjoy music, podcasts, and even movies or games while driving.

So why are they only now gaining significant attention? Research and development in infotainment systems have been ongoing for about a decade. The fruits of these long-term efforts are beginning to shine through with the shift towards Software Defined Vehicles (SDV). Initially, consumer reception to early infotainment features was lukewarm—literally a lack of interest.

However, about seven years later, the narrative is slightly different. The issues identified in the content we provided earlier centered around three main problems in automotive infotainment UX: (1) lack of consumer interest, (2) low frequency of public exposure, and (3) insufficient related infrastructure. Although we are in the process of perfectly solving these issues, the software-based transformation of cars into 'moving smartphones' has made it easier for the public to engage, opening up possibilities for car-specific content development and significantly raising the profile of automotive content. The perception of consumers is also shifting, moving away from complicated arrays of physical buttons towards the convenience and diverse communication needs met by infotainment systems.

So, How Far Have We Come with Automotive Contents?

In this rapidly changing environment, the content and services provided inside vehicles have become more crucial than ever. Particularly, the rise of Software Defined Vehicles (SDV) is completely reshaping the landscape of automotive content.

Currently, as the mobility ecosystem is still at the center of transformation, the focus remains on transferring the most familiar functions and experiences to vehicles rather than immediately competing with new and futuristic content. Meanwhile, those prepared are seizing opportunities for future content investment without missing a beat.

Ultimately, Precision Wins

The current landscape shows a variety of forms. An important point to note here is that merely having a large display is not the solution. Both now and in the near future, many experts believe that considering the characteristics and display properties of numerous car models will be crucial for long-term market dominance. Similarly, transferring the services and functions of current smartphones and personal data into vehicles also requires rigorous validation.

Currently, automotive contents can be categorized into two main types:

(1) Feature-oriented Vehicle Maintenance Services: Linked with various vehicle data (ECU/CAN/Manual/Diagnostic data), these services provide preventive maintenance or insurance premium calculations based on driving styles.

(2) Human-centered Entertainment/Custom Services: These include OTT, music streaming, gaming, various social networking services, and custom black box recording, catering to drivers’ preferences and tastes. 

And also, we have to consider the context and situation via various of car & user conditions. Here's a simple example: 

As we navigate through life’s journey, the need for continuous research and more sophisticated designs remains imperative.

Creating New Business Models

Carmakers are turning their attention to content acquisition as they transition to SDV, opening up opportunities for new business models. Utilizing vehicle data creates revenue opportunities for manufacturers, service providers, and telecommunications companies, rapidly expanding the ecosystem.

- Increased release of automotive content platforms: Various companies are developing and launching automotive content platforms. Notable examples include DRIMAES' Whale-based web browser, Google and Apple’s Android Auto and CarPlay, and Ford’s Sync AppLink.

- Growth in in-car advertising: Additionally, the in-car advertising market is rapidly expanding. Automakers and advertising companies are exploring various ways to deliver more effective and targeted ads to drivers.

- Integration with vehicle safety and autonomous driving technology: Automotive content plays a critical role in enhancing driver safety and realizing autonomous driving functions, expanding the categories of content.

Opportunity Favors the Prepared

This is just the beginning. Automakers are moving to create integrated ECOs, enhancing user experience through various forms and contents, including integration with smart homes, smart cities, and other digital services.

Particularly, the emergence of autonomous driving and AI could revolutionize how users spend their time inside vehicles, reducing the need for driver concentration and significantly expanding the range of activities possible within the car. The advancement of these technologies requires continuous attention and proactive planning and investment.

DRIMAES is also continually exploring and trying different approaches to optimize and supply automotive content platforms. The DRIMAES entertainment platform, based on a web browser, leverages the unique advantage of generating endless content directly through the browser, showcasing various contents and AI-enhanced features. Stay tuned for the upcoming steps from DRIMAES.

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