BMW ConnectedDrive technology

BMW ConnectedDrive technology

Two major automakers competing in very different segments have partnered to help develop the next-generation of vehicle networking and connectivity technology. Those two automakers are BMW and Hyundai, which have joined global tech firms Broadcom, NXP, Freescale, and Harman to establish the Special Interest Group (SIG).

The goal of SIG is to drive wide scale adoption of Ethernet-based connectivity as the automotive standard, develop industry criteria and to develop and support network migration applications. The alliance will also address industry requirements for improving in-vehicle safety, comfort, and infotainment, while hopefully  reducing network complexity and cabling costs.

Key to the newly established SIG is the proliferation of Broadcom’s ‘BroadR-Reach’ technology as an open standard. This technology essentially enables high-performance bandwidth of 100 Mbps over an unshielded single twisted pair cable, eliminating the need for expensive, cumbersome shielded cabling.

For automakers, the technology should lead to improved telematics and safety features in cars along with lighter and less complex components. One of the key applications driving high-bandwidth requirements in cars is camera-based security like Nissan’s Around View monitor. Other high-bandwidth applications that Ethernet could support include networked infotainment.

Note, BMW cars supporting Ethernet capability have been on the market since 2008.