Cloud-linked systems will provide smart home and location-based features in cars.
Volkswagen is partnering with LG Electronics to develop the next generation of VW’s Cross-Over-Platform connected-car technology. VW says the new technologies will include smart home connectivity, location-based notifications, and other infotainment functions.
Almost every automaker is developing improved connected-car technologies as drivers, used to having smartphones at their fingertips, want to stay online behind the wheel. Volkswagen says that it will work primarily with LG on three key features: Allowing drivers to access their smart home feature, such as turning on or off lights; improving “context-sensitive” notifications that car provide in-car alerts based on things like the car’s location or destination; and more broadly, developing “next-generation infotainment technology” for future cars.
VW actually demonstrated many of these features earlier this year with the Budd-e concept shown at the Consumer Electronics Show. The futuristic show car had a giant touchscreen with configurable information tiles, and the company said an “Internet of Things” integration would allow it to interact with robotic vacuum cleaners or video doorbell systems at the driver’s home.
“LG is a strong, reliable partner in the implementation of new features and one of the drivers of innovation in the networked household. We look forward to working with LG and to developing in future simple, easy-to-use smart home solutions for our customers integrated into our vehicle systems,” Volkswagen head of electronics and vehicle research Thomas Form said in a statement.
Toyota also recently announced an increased focus on Internet of Things and connected-car research, launching a subsidiary called Toyota Connected.
The Volkswagen Group and LG Electronics have signed a memorandum of understanding on joint research and development of a next-generation connected car service platform.
Going forward, the two companies will work together on Volkswagen's Cross-Over-Platform, which is aimed at enhanced vehicle connectivity and convenience. Using the latest in cloud technology, it will offer drivers seamless digital access to extensive features such as smart home and location-based services.
Over the coming years, the two companies will be concentrating on:
- Developing technologies that bring together the connected car and the smart home so that drivers are able to control and monitor smart devices in their homes — such as lights, security systems and domestic appliances — from out on the road.
- Developing a context-sensitive notification centre that can deliver messages in an intuitive and safe manner and provide optimised recommendations to the driver in real time.
- Developing next-generation infotainment technology for connected cars.
Key LG Electronics executives present at the signing at Volkswagen Group headquarters included Richard Choi, Head of LG Cloud Center, and Lee Sang-yong, Head of LG Vehicle Infotainment System Research Lab. Representing Volkswagen were Prof. Thomas Form, Head of Electronics and Vehicle Research, and Robert Kattner, Head of Vehicle Information Systems, both of the Group Research Division.
"Volkswagen is pressing on with the digitalisation of its brands. Our focus in doing so is always on our customers. For them, comfort, safety and energy efficiency play a central role. LG is a strong, reliable partner in the implementation of new features and one of the drivers of innovation in the networked household. We look forward to working with LG and to developing in future simple, easy-to-use smart home solutions for our customers integrated into our vehicle systems," said Form at the official signing of the agreement.
"LG Electronics and Volkswagen are teaming up to develop the next generation of connected car platform that allows wide integration with smart home services and adoption of open IoT connectivity technologies," said Richard Choi. "We think LG's expertise in smart technology together with Volkswagen's leadership in the automotive sector will revolutionise the way drivers interact with their vehicles."
This agreement is an example of the long-standing relationship that LG and Volkswagen have developed over the years. LG was one of the first electronics companies to commit itself to the automotive industry. It has been supplying audio-visual products for vehicles since 2007, establishing a reputation for reliability and technological innovation.
In March in 2015, Volkswagen subsidiary Italdesign Guigiaro unveiled its GEA concept car at the Geneva Motor Show with seven key components supplied by LG Electronics, including the holographic display, connected smart watch, tail lights and rear camera. In July, LG was selected as Volkswagen's strategic electronics supplier and also listed as a partner company on its FAST (Future Automotive Supply Tracks) programme. At CES earlier this year, the two companies attracted great attention showcasing a smart home system that could be controlled remotely from the vehicle.