This week, TomTom unveiled TomTom IndiGO, the world’s first open digital cockpit software platform for carmakers. TomTom IndiGO brings users’ digital lives and access to car functions seamlessly and safely into the in-dash experience.

Jeffrey Hannah, Chief Commercial Officer at SBD Automotive, sat down with TomTom’s CEO Harold Goddijn to discuss IndiGO.

JH: Why is TomTom taking this step to broaden its focus beyond navigation to a full Infotainment software platform, and why now?

HG: Having worked closely with automotive customers over the past decade, continually pushing the envelope to deliver best-in-class navigation, it has become clear to us that providing a truly intuitive digital cockpit remains a big challenge.

Developing a digital cockpit requires significant up-front costs, very long development cycles and products that can’t evolve over their entire lifecycle.

That’s why we created TomTom IndiGO: an open and flexible digital cockpit software development platform, focused on the end-user experience, that enables rapid development and continuous improvement throughout the life of the vehicle.

JH: For automotive partners considering and/or relying upon Google Automotive Services for Infotainment, can you explain how IndiGO is different?

HG: There are three distinct ways in which TomTom IndiGO differs from its competition:

  1. Unlike GAS, IndiGO is not a combination of several mobile phone apps. It has been designed from the ground up to unify all vehicle cockpit domains, including ADAS, comfort features, infotainment and navigation in a cohesive HMI.
  2. IndiGO is an open environment that gives OEMs full control over their brand, and the freedom to innovate and build unique cockpit experiences.
  3. IndiGO fosters an ecosystem that enables global and local collaborations between automakers and the application partners of their choice.

JH: How does IndiGO enable automotive OEMs to leverage an ecosystem to deliver new apps or experiences in the car?

HG: IndiGO is open to all types of partners and developers. The APIs of the IndiGO development framework allow partner applications to be seamlessly integrated into the driving experience, without context switching for the driver. Our developer portal supports a great developer experience. We are very proud to have so many early access partners that believe so strongly in IndiGO, providing OEMs with a broad selection of ready to use apps and services to choose from.

JH: Can you talk about the changing business model for Infotainment, and the industry positioning of IndiGO?

HG: Many OEMs are taking control of their digital cockpit experience by moving more of the development in house. IndiGO provides OEMs with a platform that removes the need for them to invest time and resources in non-differentiating parts of the digital cockpit, allowing them to focus on developing unique brand experiences. With IndiGO they go faster.

JH: How long before we see IndiGO on the road?

HG: IndiGO will hit the streets in late 2022. Because of the ready-to-use nature of the platform, as well as its flexibility and customization possibilities, we have been able to shorten the development time, from zero to SOP, to 18 months, which is a significant disruption to the traditional operating model in the automotive industry.