Car infotainment is a shmorgishbord of options. Every manufacturer and brand offers its own take, and although Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have attempted to find a common ground, the area remains ripe for advancement.
Bosch believes it may have the answer in a streamlined digital cockpit that runs on just a single ECU, rather than multiple ones, Autoblog reported on Tuesday. The automotive supplier showed the cockpit at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in a Cadillac Escalade, which replaces the traditional infotainment screen and gauge cluster with five screens. One in the gauge cluster, two in the center stack, and two on the headrests in the rear seat.
The system features haptic controls to nearly mimic a physical button, facial recognition and connectivity to pair with everything, including smart home devices. Bosch’s biggest breakthrough is the fact the entire system runs on one ECU. Presently, most cars operate with 100 ECUs to handle various computing tasks. Bosch’s one ECU can simultaneously run multiple operating systems, and it separates infotainment from safety features in the name of security.
With fewer ECUs, automakers can save money, which makes Bosch a real contender for the cockpit of the future. The company would like to see its innovations reach production cars by 2020, but that’s only if automaker sign on and give the infotainment system their blessings.