Turning cars into mobile devices: Page 2 of 7

April 13, 2017 // By Ashraf Takla, Thomas Wilson and Christian Tuschen
Turning cars into mobile devices
Everyone remembers their first car – how you could go where you wanted to go, moving faster and going longer distances – you were mobile. Yes, our cars made us mobile, but today’s cars are becoming mobile devices themselves.

In-and-between cars

There are a number of macro trends that are defining “use models” where MIPI specifications fit. These trends include the initial deployment and deeper integration of items like:

  • Telematics and In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI);
  • Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS);
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS);
  • Autonomous Driving Systems (ADS).

Telematics require interfacing GPS (Global Positioning Systems) with navigation display, including the functions of touch and audio. Driver assist requires camera, radar, Lidar (laser light), image processing, and computer vision interfaces with audio and display for direct feedback.

Intelligent Transportation Systems require wireless vehicle to infrastructure, (V2I), vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to everything (V2X) connections, bridging to radio frequency (RF) capabilities that support a number of different wireless (IEEE 802.11p, ac, ah, Bluetooth) and cellular (LTE, GSM) standards. All of these systems and their interconnections become even more critical as we move towards autonomous driving.

Interestingly, these connectivity requirements are almost the same as those seen in the most ubiquitous mobile platform – the smartphone. In a smartphone, you have similar interactions between cameras and display, audio, microphone, and gyroscopic, magnetic and light functions, and applications requiring touch or voice-activated inputs. The MIPI specifications that define these interfaces efficiently for smartphones work equally well in the interfaces developed to support these systems in automobiles. And they are being deployed today.

Let’s dive deeper into ADAS and see how MIPI specifications are applied.  Driver-assist systems are developed to automate, adapt, and enhance vehicle systems for safety and to help the driver drive better. Figure 1 shows a “field of view” representation of ADAS-type monitoring. These systems make up a kind of sensor “shield” around a car providing alerts to the driver or triggering safeguards that take over control of the vehicle to avoid hazards.

Figure 1: Your car’s sensor shield. Courtesy of NXP.

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