"We cannot disclose everything, but I can say that cars will be much more connected, much more intelligent ... and the cloud will play a bigger role. We have also just launched Intelligent Drive," he added, referring to the sensor-based system that can do everything from issuing visual, acoustic and tactile warnings to the driver to taking control of the car in an emergency situation.
Connected Car Applications
During a breakout session for developers May 16, Andrew Poliak, QNX's director of automotive business development, offered advice and a general idea of how the market is moving.
OEMs are already awarding business for 2016 though 2018, he said, which presents a challenge for a mobile market that watches technologies evolve from top-shelf to timed-out in 12 months' time.
Developers should think green—anything that can help drivers or the car makers improve fuel economy has an excellent chance of succeeding. They should also make sure their apps are bulletproof—bugs are costly and won't be tolerated—and that they're as minimally distracting as possible. California recently expanded its ban on texting and driving to include checking smartphone maps while driving, and it likely won't be alone.
Developers should also consider the types of apps that will still have appeal and relevance in 10 years, said Poliak. He gave the example of an app that shows a full glass of water. Break or accelerate too quickly and the water sloshes out. Keep the water in the cup, and you're driving well—and improving your miles per gallon.
Another growing area is "bring your own display"—a trend that relies on the user's phone as a way to "drive down costs but offer a rich user experience for low-end vehicles," said Poliak.
The vehicle head units of tomorrow will be much like those of today, but with car-relevant social networking—not just the ability to find a restaurant, but a restaurant the driver's friends like—augmented reality and extended connectivity.
BMW, Poliak added, may be the first to put pico projectors in dashboards to project maps across the windshield for easier navigation.
As Mercedes' Jungwirth told the audience at the keynote, "It's incredible the opportunities we have. ... It's a very bright future ahead."