Delphi unveils D-Connect for connecting Smartphones and accessing apps

At the SAE 2010 World Congress, Delphi has unveiled D-Connect, its answer to Nokia’s terminal mode smartphone connectivity solution.

D-Connect addresses an array of in-vehicle connectivity challenges – including automotive-oriented application stores – while defining a radical new vision of center stack architecture.

The system architecture is described as being built around an Intel or ARM processor with a Linux kernel, common Linux packages, Genivi, ported device applications and, finally, an HMI layer.

The D-Connect vision simultaneously provides center stack connectivity for any smartphone – reproducing the on-device display in its entirety on a large touchscreen display mounted in portrait mode – with separate interfaces for when the vehicle is static or in motion.

When the vehicle is not moving, the display allows access to all the apps displayed on the device and allows the device to be manipulated and the apps to be accessed directly from the large display via touch or voice interface.

The system was shown with a physical connection, though Delphi says the system will support Bluetooth, USB or Wi-Fi connectivity.

The D-Connect vision includes Delphi’s announced intention to provide app store support. Delphi says it will certify applications to determine which will be accessible when the vehicle is in motion.

When in motion, the separate HMI display will appear with large on-screen icons including “Voice Search,” “Navigation,” “View Maps,” and “Contacts.”

The system appears to be positioned as an alternative to Nokia’s terminal mode, shown most recently at CeBit and at the Geneva Motor Show. Nokia’s solution similarly provides for vehicle HMI control of smartphone functions and is being developed by Nokia in conjunction with Tier Ones such as Harman, Magneti Marelli and Continental along with some OEMs.

The use of Genivi and Linux is unique and represents the first demonstration of a complete solution based on the newly proposed automotive operating system.

It also allows Delphi to define a new path to the much discussed in-car application store. As far as the app store is concerned, Delphi sees application downloads working strictly via the device and functioning through device connectivity – not through a direct download into the car.

Delphi uses the Genivi operating system and other Linux-based applications, to interface to downloaded apps, but prefers to keep the applications themselves outside the center stack software environment.

Courtesy: Strategy Analytics.

Banner space