Article updated on 18 February 2021
Image Credits: matamorworks/shutterstock.com
The appearance of autonomous vehicles in car dealership showrooms is only a few years away, according to most auto industry experts, and when that happens, the ‘driving’ experience will be completely revolutionized. Without the need to actively drive the vehicle, passengers will be free to do whatever they like.
To that end, Harman International Industries recently released its Life-Enhancing Intelligent Vehicle Solution (LIVS), a comprehensive interactive suite that can function as a virtual assistant, entertainment center or both at the same time.
With LIVS, Harman merged previously discreet connectivity, media, and operational systems under a new, comprehensive automotive platform. In a statement, Phil Eyler, president of Harman’s Connected Car division, said LIVS is a fully-integrated, individualized, intuitive and adaptive system that points to the future of driving.
The Harman LIVS automotive compute platform integrates all vehicle functions for a holistic and integrated approach to in-car electronics, connectivity, and operations.
Phil Eyler, President, Connected Car Division, Harman
LIVS was first showcased in a Rinspeed concept car, called ‘Etos’, at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. In 2017, Harman showcased the system again, but that time in a Chrysler Pacifica.
The Rinspeed car included a package of technologies encompassing information, productivity, navigation, and connectivity. These features were able to learn and anticipate the preferences of drivers and passengers, who could interact with the system by voice, gestures, touchscreen, physical controls or a combination of all these interfaces. The result was interior and exterior systems that were able to smoothly adjust to various driving scenarios.
The LIVS system involves more than 2,000 patents in areas like design, connectivity, navigation, and safety. Harman said it is bringing connected innovations to market to specifically enhance driver safety and vehicle security, as well as allow for new connected capabilities.
The system's modular connectivity solutions offer high-speed networking for systems located both inside and outside the vehicle, providing services like weather and dinner reservations. The system’s several ultra-high-resolution displays could be used in multiple configurations for various information and entertainment applications. Two curved, 21.5-inch 4K monitors and an HD display are able to present useful data to the driver and riders. A comprehensive office software suite was included to provide the same degree of productivity as a standard office, including video conferencing.
The 2017 concept also included an augmented reality feature. A simulated video on the system's screen showed augmented markers on other cars detected by sensors, informing the driver if they were accelerating or braking. The system also showed high-visibility, digital road signs at intersections as a means to make these signs more apparent than they might be in the real world.
While a lot of the elements seen on the AR system would have been sourced from the car's sensors, information like street signs would likely be based on digital maps and a GPS signal giving the car's location. Harman said it is focused on making the AR system a head-up display, to make this information easier of the driver to use.
LIVS also includes components specific to automated driving. The camera-based Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) track, record and evaluate the vehicle’s surroundings. Machine learning navigation and high-resolution were developed for precision location systems. The ADASIS system is capable of extending a driver’s range of perception beyond what they can see using V2X technology.
Harman has also designed LIVS to mitigate safety threats of the digital variety. A comprehensive system with hypervisor and firewall forms the security basis for all of LIVS' technologies and services. The Over the Air system can update security capabilities, which helps to safeguard the car from hackers and other cyber threats.