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Infotainment device

Infotainment Device - combining information with entertainment


Modern day vehicles are controlled using networked computers called Electronic Control Units. Examples are Body Control modules, HVAC controllers, Infotainment ECUs, Power train ECUs, Crash detection and Air bag ECUs etc. Infotainment ECUs provide information and entertainment features. It provides information to the user such as vehicle related information, diagnostics information etc. It can also provide entertainment factors like audio.

Consumers want to be constantly connected, even in a car. In order to get the flood of consumer devices under control, vehicles need the right software infrastructure. The integration of personal navigation devices (PNDs) and mobile phones are keeping drivers more connected than ever and fresh advancements, such as MP3 player hook-ups, are making CD players a distant memory.

The world of in-vehicle infotainment and navigation is going through some interesting changes. Consumers rely increasingly on mobile devices in the world outside of the vehicle, such as mobile phones, mp3 players and portable gaming devices. It is increasingly expected that these device capabilities be integrated seamlessly, and even enhanced, when used inside vehicles. In the near future, consumers will even expect to be connect to the Internet while in the vehicle. It is imperative for infotainment and navigation designers to understand these trends and develop new solutions to meet these requirements.

Using Bluetooth for hands-free calling is now almost a default feature in infotainment/navigation systems, and recent trends in the automotive market. The cost of Bluetooth integration is now such that it supports enabling the lower end infotainment/navigation devices with this capability. Hands-free as a function is now mature in terms of the technology (hands-free interoperability with mobile phones has improved significantly in recent years) and also has widespread acceptance in the market.

Figure : Infotainment device inside a Car


In our Infotainment Device there is 6.5 inch Colour display touch screen and front panel buttons. The infotainment device combines audio, multi-view camera system, navigation system, bluetooth phone interface, Tire Pressure monitoring system and advanced engine and trip monitors into a single integrated system. The unit is designed specifically for use in heavy trucks.


Audio module comprises of:

  • AM/FM/WB Radio

This AM/FM/Weather band radio in your tractor's cab can be used to enjoy music, news, talks and weather information while you're out in the field. AM frequency range is 530 - 1710 KHz. FM frequency range is 88.1 – 107.9 MHz

  • Sirius Satellite Radio (SDARS)

A satellite radio streaming music, news, sports and talks over approximately 100 channels via satellite to the continental US.

  • USB

USB stick with media content need to be connected to the USB port. Available UI controls are play/ pause, folder next/ prev, track next/ prev.

  • CD

We can insert the CD into the device and hear audio. UI controls available are play/

pause, FF/ FR, track next/ prev.

  • iPod

Audio can also be heard from iPod. UI controls available are play/ pause, play list next/ prev, track next/ prev, FF/ FR. An iPod shall contain mp3 songs, audio

books etc.

  • External Audio Audio from an external source can be heard through the speakers of the device Info:

The module displays/ monitors various information parameters for the system. Values for these parameters come via CAN bus. Trip Computer

This module displays the trip parameters like Total distance, Fuel used etc. UI allow start/ stop a trip and viewing the trip parameters. Information of a completed trip is stored in the database called Trip History. Status

This module displays the status parameters with values against them. These status parameters fall into the groups Road, Vehicle, Engine etc. Alarm

This module monitors the status parameters and if the value of a parameter falls

back a defined threshold, an alarm will be raised. The alarm will be shown in a full pop-up screen called New Alarms screen.


This module displays and monitors the maintenance parameters like Transmission

Lube, Power steering, Engine Oil etc. Each parameter is scheduled for maintenance

within a particular distance. Once the vehicle covers this distance, a maintenance

remainder for this item is delivered to the user indicating that this particular item

is overdue.

Tires This module displays the vehicle’s instantaneous tire pressures in a tire layout. The Tire alarm conditions like Very low pressure, Critical low pressure, sensor battery low etc are indicated in the layout using different colors/ icons. There are options available for showing the tire temperature, deviation from target pressure etc.


The Checklist includes items like Wheels and Tires, Brakes, Axles etc. Checklist can be modified and reset using UI controls. 3 Checklists can be maintained for Tractor, Trailer and Cab.


Clock displays the system time. The time is taken from GPS information. It can be started with manual option. UI controls allow changing the time settings.

Pinned items

The information parameters can be pinned so that they will be displayed in the info status window. These items are displayed also in the Pinned items screen.


There are left camera, right camera and rear camera. The camera automatically comes into

focus when the corresponding turn signal is applied. These camera systems will help to get

view of left, right and rear while driving.


A Bluetooth enabled mobile phone can be paired with the device. The handset’s phonebook

will be imported to the device and the user can make/receive calls from the

device also.

A microphone needs to be connected to the device using which the user can give voice

inputs to the system. At a time 5 mobile phones can be paired with the device but only

one phone can be active.


This module provides route navigation ( Nav ) using GPS information. Destination can be

found using address/Point of interest searches.

System Menu

This module provides system information. The installed image version, current system units, current system language, current user mode are some of those. This module also provides controls for changing the brightness/ contrast/ volume/ sound properties.

Status Window

There are four status windows displayed at the left of the screen.

They are:

  • Nav status window : shows the direction to proceed during navigation.

  • Info status window : shows the currently pinned items.

  • Tell tales status window : has icons for indicating the present status of volume, CD, phone, info–alarms and the clock status window.

  • Clock status window : shows the current time.


In the future, infotainment systems are likely to evolve significantly.As autonomous driving takes hold, the entertainment angle will increasingly dominate, and large, safe, daylight visible screens will increasingly be a core selling point. The number of screens is also increasing. In addition to passenger and rear seat screens, advancements in flexible and shaped screens mean that auxiliary screens will continue to appear and are likely to all link back to the infotainment system.

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