Demand for connected-car infotainment systems will trigger a boom in usage of MirrorLink and GENIVI systems, according to a new study from ABI Research.
The report’s authors expect the number of MirrorLink and GENIVI systems in commercial use to rise from just 10,000 at the end of 2012 to a staggering 27.9 million in North America, Western Europe and the Asia-Pacific region by the end of 2018.
MirrorLink is a global standard supported by the Car Connectivity Consortium, while the GENIVI Alliance is a non-profit consortium that aims to establish a Linux-based operating system, middleware and platform for car infotainment services.
With consumers increasingly eager to stay connected in their cars, and OEMs looking to infotainment as a means of differentiating their vehicles from those of rivals, the outlook seems rosy.
Nevertheless, one challenge for OEMs – notes ABI – is deciding whether to meet customers’ technological demand through embedded on-board systems or via drivers’ mobile phones.
“At stake is whether the in-vehicle infotainment system remains a proprietary system controlled by a few OEMs, becomes an open ecosystem nurtured by an international developer community, or whether connectivity, processing and service delivery resides in the phone and is controlled by the mobile phone industry,” said Gareth Owen, a principal analyst at ABI.
In the meantime, MirrorLink and GENIVI are both locked in a fight against established proprietary systems like BlackBerry’s (Waterloo, Canada) QNX platform and Microsoft’s (Seattle, WA, USA) Embedded Automotive platform.
ABI reckons MirrorLink faces particular challenges when it comes to app development and certification and says the introduction of new screen replication technologies by a number of competitors could fast lead to market fragmentation.
“GENIVI has strong support in the automotive industry but Apple’s [Cupertino, CA, USA] imminent entry into the car space is a real threat for MirrorLink unless it can gain traction quickly,” said Owen. “MirrorLink really needs to launch its version 1.1 quickly and get as many handset vendors as possible to introduce MirrorLink v1.1 compatible devices.”