At CES, HERE and Pelagicore have partnered to create a new user experience for cars which combines our HERE Auto in-car navigation system with their automotive technology to create a new integrated dashboard and centre stack experience. It’s being demonstrated on the HERE stand at CES this week.
This isn’t a gadget or downloadable app, but rather it’s intended to show car manufacturers the flexibility, deep integration and customisation potential of the solution. This is a reference system that carmakers could work with to add their own design and branding, colours and other elements to build new custom systems for their own vehicles.
We talked to Pelagicore’s Chief Experience Officer, Alex Diebald, to understand more.
“We exist to bridge the gap between designers and developers in user experiences for vehicles. Car manufacturers and component suppliers have some great designers, but the way those designs become implemented is fundamentally broken,” he says. “That’s why our product suite is shaping tomorrow's infotainment systems from silicon to pixel. plx.BSP is our complete hardware enablement kit, PELUX Reference a software platform providing architecture and process blueprints and Qt Automotive Suite a comprehensive application development kit used in the demonstration."
With a background as a software engineer implementing infotainment systems for cars and then working for BMW, and then for Trolltech, the original creators of the Qt development platform, before joining Pelagicore, Alex has considerable experience of the industry. The company’s existing customers include JLR, Daimler and Volvo, as well as component suppliers to other carmakers.
“[In the demonstration] we have created a navigation system that is intended and designed to be configurable.”
“It brings together cutting-edge navigation technology from HERE with deep integration with other systems and a freshness of design.”
One example of this deeper integration within the system is that your route and upcoming junctions remain visibly overlaid onto other sections of the interface, such as the music player.
It also features two screens – one in the dashboard and one in the central cluster under the steering wheel. These two screens can either show the same information, or be using entirely different functions: for example, one could show a map with directions, while the other shows safety information.
The integration work didn’t take long and HERE engineers worked closely with Pelagicore to make it happen – “It’s fair to say it’s quite straightforward,” says Alex – but having been created, it gives potential customers a big head-start in creating their own implementations.
“Car manufacturers want to distinguish themselves from one another and create experiences that are consistent with their own designs and branding,” says Alex.
Historically, this might have meant starting from scratch with each new model or range. This reference system with HERE navigation built-in means that the engineering groundwork has already been completed, but with careful allowances for the manufacturers to change almost anything about its appearance and operation quite easily.
As his former experience working for Trolltech might suggest, Alex and Pelagicore are champions of Open Source. “Pelagicore’s reference UX is part of the Qt Automotive Suite. We’re believers in Qt, Linux and Open Source software. It brings a flexibility in customising the user experience. It brings better built-in integration. And speed to market.”
To see the demo for yourself at CES, visit us at CES Central Plaza, Booth #CP-2.