Jamie Bennett Speaks

Thoughts from Jamie Bennett

ELC2009 – GenIVI Alliance

Written by JamieBennett onOctober 21st, 2009 at11:21 am in


  Jean-Marc Temmos




Jean-Marc’s talk was presented on Thursday 15th October 2009 to a crowd of about 50 attendees. In it he introduced the GENIVI Alliance and outlined some of the challenges they face bringing a next-generation entertainment system to your car.

Main points

  • In vehicle experiences are demanding more.
  • An always connected system is needed.
  • Separate modules to provide functionality should be replaced with one powerful unit.
  • Open source software and standards should be used.


Jean-Marc works for Visteon so he started by giving a little information about his company. Visteon have around 30,000 employee’s in 26 countries and are currently working in many area’s of the auto-mobile industry including climate control, interiors, and electronics.

‘Infotainment’ challenges and requirements

The problems facing the ‘infotainment’ industry (information and entertainment) were given as:

  • Shorter vehicle life-cycles – consumers are changing their vehicles less regularly so any installation is more likely to become obsolete before the vehicles end of life.
  • R&D costs are increasing.
  • System costs and complexity is increasing.
  • More and more features are demanded by consumers.

The point about feature obsolescence was discussed bringing in another topic about updates. Whether these would be pushed by just one controlling body or would they be allowed by the actual makers of the software itself. Security and software reliability were also discussed and the conclusion was that only the essential updates would be installed and they would be tested most-thoroughly.

Some of the new features Jean-Marc had seen being requested by the consumer were:

  • Internet connectivity.
  • Location based services (LBS).
  • Improved graphics.
  • The ability to update with new features and fixes.
  • An always connected experience.
  • Low power consumption.

A quote from Jean-Marc:

“Future infotainment architectures need to be flexible, upgradeable, fast to implement and cost efficient”

Visteon’s Solution

Visteon’s approach is to:

  • Use high performance, low power ‘head units’ that control the whole system. The chip-sets talked about were Intel Atom and ARM’s offerings.
  • Simple, open source and standard interface so speed up development and implementation.
  • Enable Internet functionality for all passengers in the vehicle, tailored experience depending on where in the vehicle the user is situated.
  • Provide a seamless online and offline experience.

Tomorrows offerings

In today’s systems, high end vehicle installations usually have several separate systems (bluetooth, tv receiver, digital radio, rear seat install) all communicating via some kind of bus system. This can lead to a complicated setup with redundant hardware and a dis-separate user experience.

Tomorrows offering will be centred around one powerful unit which provides all the functionality. This will be open source based, support upgrades, customisable, lower cost, and will dramatically reduce the time to market.


Marc-Jean was keen to point out that GenIVI is:

  • Not a standards organisation.
  • Not an open source project.
  • Is a non-profit.
  • Is a proven collaboration model.
  • Requires no OEM specific applications to be contributed back to the project.


Moblin and GenIVI are completely separate entities. Moblin is community driven where-as GenIVI is driven by the consortium and the automotive industry. Moblin was chosen because of its specific IVI distribution. Note that currently Moblin doesn’t run on the ARM platform.

Current Architecture

The Visteo IVI platform is currently made up of:

  • IVI Linux Kernel (2.6.31-rc6)
  • Moblin 2.0.
  • Moblin IVI extensions (version 0819)
  • GenIVI 1.0 application framework.
  • RAPID-specific HMI and hardware driver support.

Future Challenges

GenIVI is in its infancy and will have to tackle some key problems in the future. Some of which are:

  • Profile management for access and admin rights, favourites, transfer of profiles from one car to another.
  • Security for personal data, privacy controls, updates among others.
  • Data control and protection using DRM.

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