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Two global players in the design and development of infotainment systems for the automotive industry have recently joined forces to meet the needs of automotive manufacturers. Luxoft, an application and product development service provider based in Eastern Europe will be working together with Harman International on several automotive projects including embedded real-time operating systems, advanced navigation systems, in-vehicle Internet capabilities and the integration of social networks into the driving experience.
Although the two companies have worked together before, Luxoft has primarily been involved in the maintenance and testing of Harman’s products and platforms. Their future collaborations will see the companies working together to develop new automotive technologies. “Over the years, we've seen our relationship with Harman grow into the strategic relationship that it is today. We look forward to future opportunities to innovate as we're only scratching the surface of what we can accomplish together,” says Dmitry Loschinin, president and CEO of Luxoft.
The company’s work is focused on interactive navigation, in-car wireless communications, voice technologies and mobile connectivity. “Consumer demand in the automotive sector is evolving rapidly, as drivers today are in search of sleek, sophisticated options that not only give them access to vehicle performance data, but also high-end infotainment options,” says Dinesh Paliwal, CEO of Harman International. “To meet that need, Luxoft has proven to be an invaluable partner over the past several years due to its industry expertise, ability to innovate and exceptional product and service delivery. In any such partnership, the most important thing is reliability and accountability for the time-critical milestones. Luxoft’s leadership and project teams have been incredibly responsive and attentive to our needs, and as a result, we have started treating Luxoft as our extended organization. We look forward to furthering our relationship with Luxoft and are excited to see what new automotive technologies are possible as a result.”
In January 2011, Luxoft released DroidBUZZ, a full-scale vehicle software platform that enables multimedia and online connectivity features, along with the support of regular Android applications.
Supported by affordable and high performance ARM hardware, the DroidBUZZ platform lets OEMs and Tier 1 companies create cost effective IVI solutions as autonomous, as well as connected to the in-car network. DroidBUZZ supports 3G and LTE connectivity and a Bluetooth-based channel to the Internet via a user’s smartphone, providing the entire set of online services usable in a car and available for Android applications.
“Our focus is on software-intensive technologies including communications, infotainment, in-car access to online services, messaging and social networking, wireless communications and multimedia; everything that puts a company on the cutting edge of today’s automotive technology,” says the company.
Automotive Industries (AI) asked Dmitry Loschinin, president and CEO of Luxoft, what products the company would be co-developing with Harman International.
Loschinin: Consumers are craving more and more connectivity in every part of their lives and Harman is one company that is responding aggressively to this need. Currently, we are involved with Harman International on a variety of projects. Our mutual goals for the products will ensure an advanced level of connectivity for the driver. A few of the projects in progress include the development of human-machine interface (HMI), advanced navigation systems, in-vehicle Internet capabilities and the integration of social networks into the driving experience. Our engineers are involved in a number of strategic initiatives that will allow for the rapid development of new infotainment products for the premium, mid- and low-range market segments.
AI: Why was Luxoft chosen to partner with Harman in the development of future products?
Loschinin: Luxoft is more than just a traditional outsourcing vendor. Instead of simply providing the right engineering skills, our technological organization focuses on delivering end results, despite complicated and continuously evolving requirements. Our global capabilities ensure that our clients have access to the best resources, local strengths, and technical experience possible.
AI: What do you think Luxoft’s strengths are in terms of the development of automotive solutions?
Loschinin: Our strengths are fueled in part by technical expertise and a commitment to continuous education. Our developers must meet our minimum requirements when it comes to a high-level of technical knowledge, software and product development techniques and excellence in client services. Through attaining certifications, enrollment in post-grad college courses, membership in industry alliances and participation in influential tradeshows, our team is able to develop cutting-edge technologies that respond to evolving consumer demands in the automotive sector.
AI: How do your talent pool and global locations help Luxoft offer effective solutions to customers?
Loschinin: Global delivery capabilities are a significant value-add for Luxoft clients. Currently, we operate Development Centers in seven regions including: Russia, Ukraine, UK, Vietnam, Romania, Germany and Poland. Engineers in each of those countries embody the ideal partner for companies in search of long-term development support – extensive industry expertise, technical acumen, local language capabilities, and quality of service. Development for the automotive sector is primarily focused in our Ukraine and Poland Centers.
AI: Tell us about the DroidBUZZ – what makes it a unique platform?
Loschinin: Today, drivers want to feel that their vehicles are as connected as their homes. For families with young children in particular, rear-seat entertainment systems are a must. DroidBUZZ is a solution that we developed to help OEMs bring new entertainment systems to market more quickly and cost-effectively. It is the first solution on the market that is able to take advantage of Android operating systems. This results in more choice for the consumer and a faster way for OEMs to make interactive technologies a reality.
AI: What are some of the other innovations Luxoft has developed for the automotive sector?
Loschinin: LUXdash is a “smart dashboard” that replaces the traditional analog car dashboards with LCD screens. LUXdash combines dashboard and infotainment functions into one location and can be integrated into a wide range of cars and motorcycles. It gives the users access to a multitude of functionalities. Besides the conventional dashboard gauges, it includes GPS navigation, infotainment control, car diagnostics and seamless integration with various mobile gadgets.
AI: What plans does Luxoft have for further global expansion; and how does your location in Russia and East Europe help with expansion into countries in Asia and South America?
Loschinin: We are always evaluating locations that will provide value to our customers. Each of our Global Delivery Centers meets a high set of standards, ranging from talent pool resources, multi-language capabilities, ability to respond to business needs, location-based advantages and cultural synergies to deliver the best results possible to our customers. Any future centers that we develop will be in response to the growing needs of our clients.