BlackBerry, DENSO develop integrated automobile HMI platform
By Digital News Asia December 14, 2017
- Vehicles currently equipped with multiple HMI systems without working in unison.
- QNX Hypervisor enables independence of OS, controls integration with one microcomputer.
JAPANESE global automotive components manufacturer DENSO Corporation and enterprise software company BlackBerry Limited announced today their joint development of what they claim is the world's first integrated HMI (human machine interface) platform. Intel Corp also collaborated in the development of this product.
The integrated HMI platform will enable a system that optimally cooperates and coordinates various HMI products, such as display and sound, inside an automobile cockpit at a low price. The joint solution will appear in successive car models scheduled for release after 2019.
With the improvement of automobile safety and convenience in recent years, the amount of data the vehicle transmits to the driver is increasing. Today, vehicles are equipped with multiple HMI systems that require several device-specific operating systems to work in unison.
Because the operating systems are independently controlled by multiple microcontrollers, it has previously not been possible to cooperate and coordinate them to display content and sound uniformly.
The integrated automotive HMI platform is believed to be the first of its kind and was developed by DENSO and BlackBerry using BlackBerry's QNX Hypervisor for virtualisation and the Intel Atom processor A3900 series.
The hypervisor technology enables the independence of several operating systems with different characteristics and controls the integration with one microcomputer.
This architecture allows various HMI products to cooperate allowing necessary information to be displayed to the correct devices with appropriate timing. For example, it will be possible to communicate a heads-up or a warning through easy-to-understand expressions on the display with the right timing.
Additionally, through cooperation between instrument cluster and navigation centre displays, it is now possible to show animation with a sense of unity between the navigation screen in the metre screen. Furthermore, by updating the performance of one microcomputer, both devices are updated, contributing to increase in research and development productivity and cost reduction.
As part of the integrated HMI, Intel has provided a unique and revolutionary graphics sharing technology, which has been optimised for the Intel Atom processor A3900 series. The technology can prioritise and operate 3D workloads important for safety over less important workloads on the same processor.
"DENSO has developed various HMI products, such as instrument clusters, car navigation systems and head-up displays that contribute to the safety and the convenience of automobiles," said Yukihiro Kato, senior executive director, Information & Safety Systems Business Group of DENSO.
"Leveraging the technology and know-how acquired through the development of these products, we have developed an information management HMI technology that will support the evolution of automobiles together with BlackBerry QNX and Intel," he said.
"While cluster, head unit, infotainment and entertainment screens are all part of a new digital user experience in the car, they can't be developed in isolation and need to work in tandem," said John Wall (pix), senior vice presiden and general manager of BlackBerry QNX.
"Together with DENSO and Intel, we will provide a highly functional, virtual cockpit, including a safety-certified digital instrument cluster that will be the new gold standard in the automotive industry. We look forward to working with DENSO and Intel on many more projects in the future."