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Old 16th April 2014, 08:12   #16
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Default Re: OEM ICE User Interfaces: Why so outdated?

Nice thread! A good instrument cluster will increase the appeal of a car by leaps and bounds.

Two exceptions that I found to the outdated user interfaces.

Tesla Model S Instrument Cluster looks very nice like a modern smart phone.

Also, its got a gigantic tablet in the middle with great resolution and graphics.


The other one is the new Audi TT
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Old 16th April 2014, 08:51   #17
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Default OEM ICE User Interfaces: Why so outdated?

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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
Does this garmin unit have Bluetooth, iPod control, Facebook feed, restaurant finder and DVD playback?



If it doesn't, then it's not what the auto industry is looking for.











I don't need to cause I'm working in the same mobile field. I provided public links on the products I know of. There maybe more.



Regarding automotive grade in general following is done extra over normal mobile application:



1. Different packaging of IC conforming to auto grade

2. Different qualification with tighter spec

3. Different temperature range qualification



I will need to search on net for general details on this as what I know may not be publicly shareable.



When I'm not busy on forums, I spend some time in testing chips for various applications including ones that go into most mobiles today.

I did not say the Garmin could be plugged into a car. Those things you mention are, technically speaking, not difficult. my electric tooth brush has a blue tooth. (http://connectedtoothbrush.com). The Garmin in terms of how many different inputs it takes and combines it in real time on a complex dynamic high resolution screen. So the underlying technology (i.e. Components) to make very fancy and or advanced screens with very complex things happening on screen, is available. Undoubtedly, it needs to made fir for purpose for a car. But even the most advanced in car, multimedia and car connectivity systems as shown on the Mobile World Congress earlier this year, have far less technical advanced system then you would find in a plane.

Why do you think automotive grade is so more difficult to achieve than mobile. i agree both are way more strict than mobile, but I would think aviation is more strict then automative. Think about the planes that are equipped with these system. They need to work in a far more adverse environment then cars when thinking about temperature and humidity and do all of it up to 25-35.000 feet of altitude. Planes, especially the small ones, are continuously subjected to endless acceleration/deceleration, vibration etc. and the mission critical robustness is of a completely different order of magnitude then on a car.

Happy to meet somebody from the chip industry. I see you are based in Bangelore. I visit Bangelore frequently as we have large facilities there including R&D. I'm no experts on chipsets, although I have some understanding, but I have a lot of collegueas who do and when it comes to testing it comes a bit closer to my day job. Last time I was on a conference with these guys they told me they are running upwards of 20.000 function test on a single system release, and that needs to repeated with more test for every new and or additional system release. So you must be busy! We wouldn't be working for the same (European) company, would we?

I still like to understand what a LTE automative grade chip is in some more detail. Problem with terms like automative or industrial grade is that from a technical and or design point it is not very relevant. In order to design something you need very specific very detailed specifications. That could be standars, such as 3GPP or ETSI, but even then you need much more detail in order to actually design a chip set.

Jeroen
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Old 16th April 2014, 09:11   #18
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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
my electric tooth brush has a blue tooth. (http://connectedtoothbrush.com).
Jeroen
Just Curious: What do you do with BT on a tooth brush?
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Old 16th April 2014, 09:14   #19
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Default Re: OEM ICE User Interfaces: Why so outdated?

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So the underlying technology (i.e. Components) to make very fancy and or advanced screens with very complex things happening on screen, is available.
I think more than technology its the cost of the component.


Quote:
Why do you think automotive grade is so more difficult to achieve than mobile. i agree both are way more strict than mobile, but I would think aviation is more strict then automative. Think about the planes that are equipped with these system. They need to work in a far more adverse environment then cars when thinking about temperature and humidity and do all of it up to 25-35.000 feet of altitude. Planes, especially the small ones, are continuously subjected to endless acceleration/deceleration, vibration etc. and the mission critical robustness is of a completely different order of magnitude then on a car.
To meet the automotive, aviation or industrial design conditions, the same mobile processor equivalent chip now to be designed with more reliability. That translates to designing with much higher margins to meet the same performance. It also means the same chip now needs to have much higher Power On Hours (reliable/functional on-time) (which may be as high as 10 years as compared to a mobile which can be 2-3).


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Problem with terms like automative or industrial grade is that from a technical and or design point it is not very relevant. In order to design something you need very specific very detailed specifications.
As I mentioned earlier, its very relevant. Because the ambient conditions under which the product needs to function define the margins and reliability which needs to built into the product (in this case the chip) right at the design stage.

Last edited by ampere : 16th April 2014 at 09:29.
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Old 16th April 2014, 09:23   #20
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Default Re: OEM ICE User Interfaces: Why so outdated?

Jeroen the G1000 Garmin unit costs $50,000 to buy as basic. To fit into an existing aircraft I am seeing prices of $300,000! Thats's the price of 2 full sized cars in the US. In a mid size car you need something that is a few hundred dollars. Probably only resistors can be used from G1000.

Ofcourse the aerospace grade is even more stringent than automotive abd thats's why cost go up exponentially. Forget the flight controls for a sec.

Take a look at the entertainment system for a passenger in a commercial airliner. Compare that with what we have today at home. Does the screen resolution, features, UI, experience come close to your ipad/tablet or laptop?

That's because even a non critical component in an airplane has to meet a more stringent standard than commercial grade. The product life cycle is so long because of this additional standard that needs to be met, it results in the technology being a good 1-2 generations behind.

Now look at automotive. One example which I can tell you. For commercial grade the standard operating range is usually 0-85C. In the automotive industry the standard is usually -40 to 125C.

You need to guarantee an electronic component works across that temp range. Will you go straight to the wider range which will lead to longer product life cycle or will you first meet commercial grade, release to market and then requalify to automotive grade. Sometimes that requalification to automotive grade can take 2-3 years requiring design changes and process changes in manufacturing.

If the component is for a critical drive component like ABS, ESP or ECU you are looking at double the time as there are more industry defined standards that need to met.

Above example is for temperature alone but there are more additional tests needed for mechanical (package). Then there's HTOL (high temp operating life) testing. For mobile grade the HTOL is 4 years at 70C max temp but for auto grade inside cabin it is 70C for 10-15 years. This is a huge difference requiring the design to be modified.

In summary going back to topic, the UI is so outdated in cars because the technology inside is almost always a step/generation behind.

PS: I'm in the semiconductor test industry

Last edited by Vid6639 : 16th April 2014 at 09:27.
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Old 16th April 2014, 09:47   #21
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Default Re: OEM ICE User Interfaces: Why so outdated?

Indeed this thread is throwing up some points which I never even dreamt of! To be frank I am very novice in these aspects and some of the stuff mentioned here are good learning stuff.

deetjohn, I agree with you. Tesla is one of the car which has done a thorough analysis on the design which includes even the ICE. I hope they sort out some of the issues with the car soon and it can climb up the charts.

ampere/vid6639, I tend to agree with jeroen here. The automotive grade quality is though higher/tougher to be produced for commercial use it is not imposible to achieve. Yes from the pricing and profitability perspective this is very difficult in low-mid range cars but when you talk about luxury and exotics where in customer satisfaction is of prime importance to get in more volumes this is a nice to have.

On the same , the article in the below link cadillac has tried something which is slightly better than others .Yes it does have its own fair share of problems but its a step in the right direction I believe. (and this is what google and apple are trying out now).

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/cad...tem,16775.html
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Old 16th April 2014, 10:29   #22
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Default Re: OEM ICE User Interfaces: Why so outdated?

I feel all you guys forget about the life cycle of a product / project. Leave the automotive grade / aircraft grade, any product requires a lot of effort, money and time to develop from scratch and the same while during production. The time taken for developing from concept itself will take a lot of time. Once it is produced, it will take time to reach the breakeven since the cost of the overall product cannot be increased to a great extend just for this. By the time the technology might have changed several times. If they are after the technology, then they are doing charity.
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Old 16th April 2014, 10:37   #23
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Default Re: OEM ICE User Interfaces: Why so outdated?

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Originally Posted by TorqueyTechie View Post
I

ampere/vid6639, I tend to agree with jeroen here. The automotive grade quality is though higher/tougher to be produced for commercial use it is not imposible to achieve. Yes from the pricing and profitability perspective this is very difficult in low-mid range cars but when you talk about luxury and exotics where in customer satisfaction is of prime importance to get in more volumes this is a nice to have.
But that's what ampere/myself are saying. We never said it's impossible. Since the grade required is tougher to meet, the product time to market is more.

As a result of this what you end up with is a technology that is 1 sometimes 2 generations behind.
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Old 16th April 2014, 10:50   #24
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Default Re: OEM ICE User Interfaces: Why so outdated?

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Yes from the pricing and profitability perspective this is very difficult in low-mid range cars but when you talk about luxury and exotics where in customer satisfaction is of prime importance to get in more volumes this is a nice to have.
We are at looking two different utilities
- Driver Console Panels (dials, readings etc)
- Infotainment panels and systems.

For driver panels, scope does exist and I think lot can be done. But it would still be done with economics in mind.

As regards to Infotainment, yes it did arrive late to the Automotive party. The need and the potential was felt only when we saw what touch screen could do in the mobile sector. Thats when the need for such infotainment systems went up. If you look luxury cars, there are examples like multi channel systems (if I can call them), where a single processor drives content for multiple displays within the car (e.g. kids watching cartoon in the back seat panel, while the front panel may be navigating). Requirements for such systems is just not the display alone. But the whole ecosystem. H/W S/W etc.

Of course the question that comes to us, is how come a micro max phone can cost 5-8K with 4+ inch display, but we can't get such a system in our basic cars. I think that is where the value addition of companies like Bosch, Delphi, Visteon etc come into play. (Volumes and business model not to mention). Huge work in creating the platform and keeping it robust and sustainable for many years. Thats why if you see many of these platforms don't change so often.

May be thats the next big market waiting to explode.

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I feel all you guys forget about the life cycle of a product / project.
That is one of the first points I mentioned with regards to the Automotive market. See #8.

Last edited by ampere : 16th April 2014 at 11:02.
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Old 16th April 2014, 12:04   #25
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Jeroen the G1000 Garmin unit costs $50,000 to buy as basic. To fit into an existing aircraft I am seeing prices of $300,000! Thats's the price of 2 full sized cars in the US. In a mid size car you need something that is a few hundred dollars.

$300.000 gets you the whole plane, G1000 included: have a look at the Diamond price list:
http://www.diamondaero.com/products/..._Pricelist.pdf

Very nice, very capable plane, my second favorite plane to fly.

Jeroen
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Old 16th April 2014, 12:15   #26
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Default Re: OEM ICE User Interfaces: Why so outdated?

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$300.000 gets you the whole plane, G1000 included: have a look at the Diamond price list:
http://www.diamondaero.com/products/..._Pricelist.pdf

Very nice, very capable plane, my second favorite plane to fly.

Jeroen
Do you think the cost of developing the parts in that aircraft is less than its total cost? If so, you are not aware of the facts, some of the equipments in the aircraft costs several times than the total cost of the aircraft to develop.
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Old 16th April 2014, 13:08   #27
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Default Re: OEM ICE User Interfaces: Why so outdated?

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I think more than technology its the cost of the component. ...
That, sir, is the heart of the issue (well, the left ventricle at least). Not availability, technology, willingness or achievability. Ultimately for a car manufacturer, like any other manufacturer, it is the bottom line that matters. To put it simply, if it is not absolutely necessary - don't put it in. Unlike application software products, 'feature loading' is not a good idea in automobiles.

The 'right ventricle' of the issue is desirability - desirability from the p-o-v of ergonomics and interface efficiency. There is more to desirability than meets the eye. What we, as users, would *like* to have in a car, may not necessarily be safe or desirable. Car makers, and auto sub-system makers, are always at the wrong end in Liability - liability to human life, both in the car and outside.

Such user *likes* are just flights of idle fancy in 99% of cases, provoked by paradigms in other walks of life. Such paradigms are seldom portable from one field to another, for example from computing devices & mobiles (totally different objective of information presentation; mistakes are not life-threatening) or aviation (the number of essential parameters to monitor & control is really large) to automotive (short time for a mistake to affect severely).

Had those 'likes' really mattered, people would have been vociferously rejecting cars based on non-availability of such features. Automotive user interfaces are not an issue of fashion or flavor of the season - there is a good reason why it has stayed constant (even the location of the interfaces hasn't changed) for over a century.

Ask yourself what all you would like to see in the dashboard and make a list. Prioritize the list, and soon you will realize that what matters (magnitude information, absolute or relative) is the Top 4: vehicle speed, water temperature, fuel status and possibly engine RPM. Why? Because these are the *only* things a common person can do something about while driving. Everything else is needed on a 'something has gone wrong' basis - which is why they are 'annunciations' (lamps), not 'value displays' (meters).

Since the subject of the thread is "OEM ICE User Interfaces", one really has to think about the objective of the ICE user interface - how much or how little information is required to be displayed, or what buttons need be provided. ICE is not an absolutely necessary system in a car. Interfaces for ICE, or for that matter any system other than the primary controls (steering, pedals, etc.), are supposed to be simple and not require dedicated attention of the driver. What do we need?
- Time of day (Clock)
- (Radio) Station Frequency
- (Media player) Track Name (or, if real estate available, part of ID3 tag), Total Track time / Time left, Play status (Play / Pause), Mute status
- (Auto AC) Temperature Set, Actual Temperature
- (MID) Current mileage, cumulative mileage (trip)
- (BT Call) Caller Id, Time the call has been active, Call waiting

Don't all OE systems give this? Sure, 'how many of these' is a factor of cost of the car, but even on the lowest cost systems how much is missed? How does one apply the term 'Outdated' to this? Isn't everything else just 'bells & whistles'? Aren't most of the other information (e.g. equalizer, etc.) available as part of menus (and you must stop the car to access those)?

So why should something simple be 'outdated'? Just because even mobiles achieve extreme display complexity in a very small form factor? Or just because there happen to be Operating Systems such as Android or Windows Mobile or whatever? Wouldn't that be putting the cart before the horse? Isn't the primary objective of that UI design 'unobtrusive interaction'?

One can have genuine complaint on some issues, for example, the inelegant fonts, or terrible display resolution. These are classic examples of great companies having some people with lacking standards of quality. But, these are not necessarily issues regarding the User Interface - they have to do with Component Quality.

Last edited by DerAlte : 16th April 2014 at 13:33.
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Old 16th April 2014, 13:47   #28
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Do you think the cost of developing the parts in that aircraft is less than its total cost? If so, you are not aware of the facts, some of the equipments in the aircraft costs several times than the total cost of the aircraft to develop.

Sure, Diamond has produced only a. few thousand of these planes and Garmin has been producing tens of thousand, if not more, of these units to several dozen plane manufacturers all over the world.

It just illustrates that Diamond is not paying Garmin a whole lot for their bit, if they can sell the total plane, with all its bit and pieces, development, testing and certification for less then 300K.

There are so called Light aircraft that cost in the region of 50-75K that have full glass cockpit. That probably means the Garmin unit price is a few thousand dollars if that. Of course, that is probably not a realistic price for the automotive industry, but then again this aviation units have more functionality and smaller volumes, so the cost price is likely to work out very differently.

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Old 16th April 2014, 14:17   #29
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It just illustrates that Diamond is not paying Garmin a whole lot for their bit, if they can sell the total plane, with all its bit and pieces, development, testing and certification for less then 300K
I think you are still not getting the actual issue, only the actual cost of production + a % of development cost + profit will be a product's price. If the product is specifically made for a customer then the customer will pay the entire amount, it works for project based companies, not for a product company. They will get the breakeven when they sell the product in larger quantities and it will take time.

A simple example is that in US you can see people still using old analog dial telephones / exchanges supporting it or not digitized yet, but in India I am yet to hear any, its because India jumped directly to these current gen phones and didnt \ couldnt invest much in that technology compared to US during that era, a classic eg for India's scenario is Tesla UI concept, they have started from scratch but a change from this will take a lot of time.

Last edited by ::CMS:: : 16th April 2014 at 14:23.
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Old 16th April 2014, 14:39   #30
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Default Re: OEM ICE User Interfaces: Why so outdated?

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I think you are still not getting the actual issue, only the actual cost of production + a % of development cost + profit will be a product's price. If the product is specifically made for a customer then the customer will pay the entire amount, it works for project based companies, not for a product company. They will get the breakeven when they sell the product in larger quantities and it will
Sorry, but I agree totally with what you are saying. But maybe I dont understand the actual issue? Unless you want to develop a fancy UI for one single customer, I think everything we are discussing here, including the Diamond and the Garmin, and just about every car manufacturer are product companies that cater for multiple customers, although the number of customer, obviously, can be very different as in my example.

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