In the era of 5G+ driverless driving, who will occupy the commanding heights of Car OS?

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“Humans’ desire for information is like primitive people’s desire for food. The calories of food can satisfy the demand, and information is used to fill the brain.”

As the most convenient access to information, smartphones have become a necessary item for modern people’s work and life. In a sense, smartphones have become an “organ” for people to obtain “information food” and satisfy people’s thirst for information.

In addition to smart phones, more and more smart hardware devices have become “extra” information portals for people. Products such as smart TVs and smart speakers are all products that expand the information-hungry scene. For cars, the car-machine system is an important information portal for people in driving scenarios.

Today, when the Internet communication technology is more mature, the car-machine system has become an important part of the current automotive technology elements. The improvement of vehicle performance through online OTA upgrade software has become a reality on Tesla models, and the car-machine system has evolved as a car. The core part of “smart travel hardware”, the blessing of 5G and artificial intelligence technology, will make it usher in a complete “evolution”.

In essence, the car-machine system was born from people’s desire for information in the information age. The predecessor of the car-machine system is the wireless radio player that is standard in almost all modern vehicles.

In 1929, Cadillac launched the La Salle, the first model with a standard AM radio. At that time, if you wanted to add a car radio to a car, you had to pay $130, which is equivalent to $6,500 today. Until 1955, Chrysler began to provide all-transistor radio optional packages for its models, and car players officially entered the semiconductor era.

The rise of the second-generation in-vehicle entertainment system represented by CD in the 1990s gave birth to the second transformation of the in-vehicle system. With the development of human communication technology, after entering the 21st century, the third generation represented by informatization and intelligence The car-machine system began to be widely used, from the initial 256MB storage to the current 8-core dedicated processor, from the monochrome “calculator” screen to the standard 8-inch LCD touch display, the car-machine system Completed a historic leap in intelligence and informatization.

From the radio to the CD and then to the 8-inch display, the interaction method of the car-machine system has undergone a qualitative change, and thus the exclusive Car OS operating system was born, so as to realize the comprehensive automatic driving and lay the foundation for the interaction level. In this process, Car The OS goes through the following stages:

The Age of Enlightenment of Car OS: Audio-visual Entertainment

At this stage, the development of the car-machine system has long been constrained by the closed production mode of the manufacturer. The car-machine system, as the operation entrance of the in-car audio-visual navigation system, basically meets the needs of use, but less attention is paid to the human-computer interaction experience. On the other hand, at this stage, the car and machine are not used as a reference for consumer purchase behavior.

Different from general 3C digital products, the principle of safety and reliability required by the car as a means of transportation makes most car companies follow mature and reliable solutions, and the design of the car-machine system is also the same. In this principle, the interaction methods of the off-board computer system are mainly buttons and knobs, while some high-end models will use new technologies such as touch panels, such as BMW’s iDrive system and Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX system.

Rapid growth in the era of “Internet of Vehicles”

The advent of the Internet of Everything era will naturally not ignore the car-machine system as the information entrance of the “third space”. Now, it has become a consensus in the automotive industry to equip a car with an easy-to-use operating system. Apple, Microsoft, and domestic BAT have entered the game one after another. Vehicle intelligent operating system field.

Different from the previous interactive systems developed by manufacturers, the Internet genes of the Car OS of the Internet technology giants are more prominent. On the one hand, in the era of “Internet of Vehicles”, Internet services are more integrated in Car OS; on the other hand, in terms of interaction, it is more in line with people’s habits of using smartphones and reduces learning costs.

Taking Apple’s Car Play as an example, users can use the Linghting data cable to realize the interconnection between the iPhone and the car, and display it on the central control screen through mapping. After linking, the application in the driving scene can be realized by operating the control buttons on the car.

Google’s Android Auto is similar to Car Play, which needs to be connected to a mobile phone to realize music control, voice control and other functions.

The difference between Baidu’s Car Life and the former two is that its “vehicle gene” is more pure. From the point of view of linking methods, Car Play and Android Auto are apps that are implemented through mobile phone mapping, while Car Life is compatible with Android and QNX. In short, Car Life is the underlying operating system based on the car’s machine, while Android Auto and Car Play are an interactive way to solve the connection between smartphones and the car’s system, so Car Life can Achieve compatibility with Android and ios.

From the technical point of view, Car Life and the software program of the car itself have a high level of in-depth control, so it can realize the control of the car’s own functions, and can open the sunroof, adjust the seat and other operations under the deep authority through voice control.

Car OS “Growing Pains”

In fact, Car OS in the era of the Internet of Vehicles has a natural defect, that is, it cannot achieve deeper data communication with the basic software of the car. On the one hand, basic data is a core business secret for car manufacturers and cannot be leaked out. The lack of Internet talents in car companies and the high cost of self-built systems make it impossible to realize self-developed systems.

From a commercial point of view, Car Play and Android Auto are in fact the product of a compromise between the interests of automakers and third-party OS platforms. The importance of automobiles as the “third space” not only solves people’s commuting needs, but also serves as an important information portal in the Internet age. At the same time, it is also a data generator for accurate user portraits. There is an urgent need for the value generated by these data.

For the Internet giants, the underlying data of vehicle driving is crucial to their car design, driverless technology research and development, and the development of automobile e-commerce business. car” sign.

For automobile manufacturers, the driver’s behavioral data portrait can help them develop and improve their products, and at the same time provide data support for the development of driverless systems.

On the other hand, since the opening of the underlying data involves the risk of leakage of automakers’ commercial confidential data, most automakers currently adopt a coexistence solution of self-developed and third-party cooperation systems. Therefore, automakers usually use their own underlying operating system as the Basic, through Car Play and Android Auto to enhance user experience.

Although Car Life has achieved in-depth cooperation with car manufacturers to achieve a deep fit with the car and machine, its authority is still greatly limited in essence, and it cannot truly achieve complete data circulation.

In recent years, the popularity of the Internet of Vehicles has dropped sharply. On the one hand, it is related to the end of the incremental era of the automobile market, but the root cause is still the immaturity of the system ecology.

Take the mobile operating system war in the early years as an example. Since the failure of the Symbian system, a three-point system of IOS, Android, and WP has been formed. A large number of third-party APP developers for IOS and Android have formed a perfect ecosystem for both System, although Microsoft has invested heavily in the ecological construction of WP, but it has been unable to recover. In fact, if Apple opened up the IOS ecosystem back then, there is a high probability that Android will end up in the same end as WP.

It can be seen from this that a mature ecosystem can build a strong protection barrier for the operating system itself, and for the car-machine system, because the underlying system is subject to the restrictions of the car manufacturer, compared with the smartphone operating system, in terms of interaction logic It is even more confusing. Secondly, in the absence of car-machine ecology, the cost of content producers is high. In addition to frequently used content resources such as navigation and music, there is a serious lack of content adapted to the car-machine system. Therefore, it is impossible to expand the application scenarios and fall into the ecology The “death cycle” of continuous deterioration.

In addition, the security issue in the state of vehicle-machine networking is also one of the important issues it faces. In 2015, two hackers remotely sent commands to control the Chrysler Uconnect vehicle system through software tools, and successfully activated the emergency braking and steering functions of a moving Cherokee. Vulnerable cars, this time is also the first case in history to be recalled due to software security vulnerabilities.

In terms of human-computer interaction, the application of AI voice technology has ushered in the evolution of the interactive mode of the car-machine system. However, due to the development of voice recognition technology, there are still defects in the accuracy of voice recognition and semantic understanding in the context. In addition, due to the limitation of network conditions, most vehicle-machine voice interaction systems still have problems such as high delay and slow response speed.

AI unmanned driving and “smart space” in the 5G era

There is no doubt that the advent of the era of artificial intelligence will start a revolution in the field of travel. After the 5G technology is fully popularized, the 5G-based AI driverless technology will be further applied. In 2018, Baidu’s world’s first L4 driverless car was officially mass-produced, and domestic driverless technology has entered the world’s first echelon. Also in this echelon are giants such as Google and Tesla.

In fact, based on the MODLE S, Tesla has initially realized L5 driverless driving. Due to safety risks and policy and regulation issues, it has not mass-produced it, but the technical completion has reached a new height.

In fact, Tesla’s car-machine system is not limited to the scope of the Internet of Vehicles, but an AI intelligent driving system based on high-performance chips. Car OS is no longer simply an entrance to car functions, but a human-machine controlled by AI. The interactive channel and the car-machine system have also been upgraded to an intelligent driving system with AI as the core. Including Tesla, Baidu’s Apollo, Google’s Waymo, and Apple’s unmanned driving system under development are all intelligent driving systems with AI as the core.

In the field of unmanned driving, Huawei, as a 5G communication technology service provider, also has a layout. At the annual developer conference held in October 2018, Huawei released a computing platform that supports L4 level autonomous driving capabilities – MDC600. It is said that the The platform is composed of 8 Huawei AI chips Shengteng 310, and integrates the CPU and the corresponding ISP module to meet the car standard. In addition, the Hongmeng OS officially announced by Huawei recently also supports the car platform.

The significance of 5G technology for AI unmanned driving is to break the spatial isolation of data, and realize real-time online transmission of dynamic road conditions under unmanned driving under low latency, so that the dynamic driving data of vehicles and traffic big data can realize two-way circulation on the bottom layer , greatly improving the efficiency of vehicle travel and urban traffic management.

The application of 5G technology in the car-machine system will also promote the positive evolution of the car-machine operating system ecology. With faster transmission speed and lower latency, content creation on the car-machine side will also usher in new opportunities. -With the support of HUD and other technologies, in-vehicle infotainment such as video sharing, mobile office, and multi-modal interaction between vehicles will bring about subversive changes in car life. At this time, the vehicle itself is no longer just a means of transportation, but has Smart hardware with multiple functions such as office and entertainment has become an important “smart space” in people’s lives.

Therefore, after the deep integration of 5G technology and car-machine systems in the future, there will be a new wave of business opportunities in the fields of car audio-visual content creation, car office services, and AR-HUD technology.


From the perspective of the development history of the car-machine system, the car-machine system is a product that satisfies people’s information thirst in travel scenarios. Under the deep integration of 5G+AI artificial intelligence and unmanned driving, Car OS is not only a product that meets people’s information needs, but also a front-end entry point for travel big data and a frontier contact point for AI-human interaction.

Even though today’s car-machine system is limited by the application of AI and 5G technology, in the foreseeable future, the car-machine system will usher in a new era of prosperity again. At that time, as the interactive contact point of “smart space”, Car OS It will also usher in the same industry reshuffle as the smartphone operating system back then, and whether domestic manufacturers such as Baidu and Huawei can occupy the commanding heights of the industry in the upcoming war, we will wait and see.

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