Issue: Jan 2011


GENIVI Allinace crosses into Asia



by Lenny Case

Eastern OEMs have started joining the GENIVI Alliance, with the Hyundai Motor Company of Korea being the first to become a core member.
The GENIVI Alliance is an automotive and consumer electronics industry association driving the development and adoption of an open in-vehicle infotainment or IVI reference platform. Hyundai is the first Korean OEM to join GENIVI. “The addition of Hyundai marks a milestone for GENIVI as we continue our expansion into Asia. GENIVI’s continued success hinges on the contribution of OEMs of the caliber of Hyundai and we look forward to working with them as we continue to improve the GENIVI Alliance platform,” says Graham Smethurst, president of the GENIVI Alliance.
Huyundai was followed by two more OEMs with Eastern ties. In October, Jaguar Land Rover and SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle Company joined the Alliance, bringing the number of OEM members to eight. Jaguar Land Rover is part of Tata Motors, India's largest automobile company. The SAIC Motor Corporation (previously the Shanghai Automotive Company Ltd) is the leading manufacturer of passenger vehicles and mini-vehicles and boasts the biggest sales volume in China today.
“Jaguar Land Rover is attracted to GENIVI’s fundamental philosophy of sharing the costs and time commitment of developing the non-differentiating layers of the IVI stack across the industry while creating a flexible platform that optimizes differentiation opportunities for OEMs and suppliers alike,” says Bob Joyce, group engineering director, Jaguar Land Rover.
“We believe that the GENIVI Alliance is the key industry force driving the rapid, open source development of future IVI reference platforms,” says HAO Fei, E&E global director of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle Co.
The GENIVI Alliance released the first version of the Alliance Platform to its members just nine months after launching. The platform was publicly demonstrated for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January 2010.
The Alliance celebrated its first anniversary in March 2010, the same month that Microprocessor IP vendor, ARM was elected to the board. Joining the alliance in 2010 during the second all-member meeting in Germany, were nine other companies from industries ranging from consumer electronics to automotive. These include AISIN AW CO, Altran Praxis, Ericpol Telecom, NAV N GO KFT, NetLogic Microsystems, NVIDIA, Sirius XM, STMicroelectronics and Telemotive. Among the topics discussed at the second all-member GENIVI meeting were the planned features for the second GENIVI Alliance platform release and support for the second semiconductor architecture (ARM-based).
The Alliance gave its first live demonstration of its multi-architecture middleware platform at CES 2011 in Las Vegas in January, 2011. The platform, described as the Apollo baseline, supports two hardware implementations. One implementation is running on the Intel In-Vehicle Infotainment Reference Design with Intel Atom Processor E6xx and the other on Texas Instruments' ARM Cortex-A8 powered BeagleBoard with an automotive carrier card.
Demonstrations were held in the Visteon stand – an indication of the support GENIVI enjoys from its members. “GENIVI’s performance in the first year has exceeded expectations, thanks to the cooperation and efforts of our member companies. The short development time for the first GENIVI platform version and the CES demonstrations serve as tangible proof that GENIVI’s approach will deliver on its promise of shortening product development cycles and reducing costs while maintaining high quality and supporting product differentiation. Our industry needs GENIVI now more than ever,” says Smethurst.
GENIVI’s strategic initiatives set in 2009 were to accelerate the development and implementation of the fully connected vehicle for infotainment applications. In addition, the alliance promised to deliver a platform consisting of standardized middleware, application layer interfaces and frameworks and extend open source community innovations to support the automotive domain. The forum also promised to engage developers to deliver compliant implementations and sponsor technical, marketing, and compliance programs. The benefits of the GENIVI platform, says the alliance, are that it speeds time-to-market, accelerates the pace at which new and compelling automotive applications are developed, dramatically reduces development costs, provides code transparency, broadens options for integrating and customizing solutions and increases IVI interchangeability across vehicle makes and models thus growing the entire IVI ecosystem.
“I expect GENIVI to enable a re-profiling of who does what within the value chain. By opening up, both technically and commercially, it will enable increased competition by creating alternatives. This is essential if we are to stay on par with the consumer sector. For example, by making the GENIVI reference implementation available in open source, new and existing developers will be able to create new and exciting features that they are then able to offer to automakers and Tier Ones for commercialization on the basis of a consistent platform. GENIVI is unique in having eliminated all single point dependencies in the value chain for the delivery of an infotainment product. The close alignment of the GENIVI platform to the consumer ecosystem and the increased choices during product development will move the IVI industry away from its proprietary origins,” said Smethurst in an earlier interview with Automotive Industries. 

Automotive Industries asked Smethurst to share some of the major achievements of the GENIVI Alliance during its first year.
Smethurst: In addition to the obvious examples of GENIVIv1.0 delivery and rapid membership growth, GENIVI has placed the topic of open source firmly on the agenda for automotive IVI development, and triggered the industry transformation that it was created to achieve. The momentum achieved in the first year has already resulted in product nominations. The focus resulting from product development is further enhancing and accelerating the activities already underway within numerous alliance development teams.  

AI: What is the significance of Hyundai becoming a core member?
Smethurst: The automakers in GENIVI are key to creating the market pull required for GENIVI´s continued global success. A partner like Hyundai introduces GENIVI into a new and important region and, with their help, we will ensure that the platform develops to meet the needs of that market. 

AI: What is GENIVI’s strategy in Asia?
Smethurst: Twenty-eight per cent of GENIVI members are located in Asia. To enable their effective contribution, the alliance is piloting regional development teams. This initiative is intended to reduce the impact of time differences and potential language barriers whilst enabling local groups to collaborate under the guidance of the GENIVI technical council.  

AI: What kind of feedback have you received over the past year from OEMs, developers and the IVI sector?
Smethurst: GENIVI is enabling a fundamental change in approach to IVI development. For many members, GENIVI continues to be a voyage of discovery, but feedback from all quarters overwhelmingly confirms the logic behind the community-based standardization of the non-differentiating elements of the IVI stack. Members are clearly coming to terms with the benefits of open source and showing increased understanding of what it means and how to operate effectively within the new approach.


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