HARMAN, an automotive technology company and subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. focused on designing consumer experiences at automotive grade, unveils HARMAN Ready Upgrade, a set of fully upgradeable hardware and software products that allow OEMs to perform upgrades throughout the life of the vehicle and accelerate time to market, while enabling consumers to add and upgrade vehicle features as easily as they would with their smartphones. Ready Upgrade features three families of production-grade Cockpit Domain Controllers, advanced software, an array of pre-integrated features and a full suite of low-code software development tools that greatly reduce new feature time to market and cost for OEMs.
Vehicles and the electronics within them have historically been overcomplicated at the planning phase, leading to high-cost domain controller solutions that lack upgradeability, and leaving limited resources to achieve differentiation. While the industry has made some progress with over-the-air (OTA) software updates and application stores, system hardware is often limited in supporting new features in the longer term. Development costs are too high, and there is an unsustainable infrastructure that cannot keep up with the rapid development that consumers have been conditioned to expect from the consumer electronics industry. That’s why HARMAN has introduced Ready Upgrade — to reduce OEM development time and cost while ensuring that vehicles can remain current and effective throughout their lifecycle, delivering the newest in-cabin experiences for consumers.
“The current project-based approach simply takes too long — often three years or more to source, develop and launch a bespoke product that becomes obsolete shortly after launch,” said Armin Prommersberger, Senior Vice President of Product Management, HARMAN International. “Ready Upgrade adopts a product-based approach that transforms the vehicle into a modern electronic device, similar to both smart homes and smart phones in delivering a user experience that is much quicker to market with the capability to remain up-to-date throughout the life of the vehicle.”
Ready Upgrade is part of HARMAN’s line-up of new products introduced during EXPLORE at CES that are road-ready — and have demonstrated they deliver compelling in-cabin experiences. Each product is designed to work independently to deliver specific vehicle safety, wellness, and connectivity benefits — but also integrates seamlessly with other HARMAN Ready products for an even more enhanced experience. For example, Ready Upgrade offers a pre-integrated rear camera ADAS feature and can integrate with HARMAN Ready Care, leveraging driver monitoring systems to help mitigate driver distraction while delivering personalised in-cabin health and wellbeing solutions.
HARMAN Ready Upgrade incorporates the following features:
* Cockpit Domain Controller: HARMAN offers customers three families of production-grade Domain Controllers that will each deliver a new generation every 18–24 months so OEMs can support the latest features with the newest technology. Each generation is fully backward compatible, so customers can easily move to the next generation system in their production line. This product also offers OEMs the potential to unlock new business models by offering hardware and feature upgrades to their customers.
* Software: Ready Upgrade’s software suite delivers continuous releases of the complete software stack, as well as reference Instrument Cluster and Infotainment applications, which customers can tailor to provide a differentiated Digital Cockpit experience that aligns with their brand. The software is forward- and backward-compatible with next-generation hardware for full system upgradability. Ready Upgrade will be fully compatible with the other technologies HARMAN is featuring during CES, including Ready Care, Ready Vision, Ready Display, and Ready on Demand, has pre-integrated features of HARMAN Ignite Cloud and is able to deliver the latest software, including security patches over the air. HARMAN is also offering an ecosystem of compatible HARMAN and third-party software applications and services to further accelerate time to market. This includes integration with the HARMAN Ignite Store and its marquis third-party applications, which consumers can discover and download to their in-vehicle systems.
* Accessories: Ready Upgrade is compatible with HARMAN’s ecosystem of products as well as third-party accessories, including displays, tuners, amplifiers, speakers and microphones, some of which will be shown at CES.
* Low-code tool suite: HARMAN’s Ready Upgrade will provide a full suite of low-code and no-code software development tools that customers can use to greatly reduce new feature time to market and cost, accelerating the creation of their differentiated in-vehicle experience, adapting to their vehicle networks and tuning the performance without having to invest in large software development efforts. Defined integration interfaces and a complete HMI and software development toolchain, including emulation and build environments, dramatically accelerate the timeline for Digital Cockpit HMI design.