When automotive technology advances, engineers fir up CAD and map out a new design. Metal is bended, plastic is molded, and after months or years of hard labor, a new car emerges. But what happens when the only thing that needs updating is the software? Agero Connected Services’ new AgeroView cloud-based system hopes to answer that question.
AgeroView allows automotive infotainment system displays and functions to be accessed and modified remotely. That means car owners can customize their cars’ dashboards, dealers can wirelessly download technical data and make changes when the car comes in for servicing, and manufacturers can update their infotainment systems without touching the hardware.
“With AgeroView, automakers can change, reconfigure, expand or customize the content, as well as the look and feel, of the embedded infotainment system just as easily as refreshing their website,” Frank Hirschenberger, Agero Connected Services senior director of product innovation said in a statement.
“If an Internet service falls in popularity or a new one emerges during the vehicle’s lifetime, AgeroView allows automakers to adapt to these trends and deliver updates in all of their vehicles in the market, not just new models,” Hirschenberger said.
This capability alone could put AgeroView in your next connected car. Most cars are redesigned, or replaced, every four years, but that cycle is too slow to keep up with the rapid pace of app development.
For example: four years ago, infotainment systems were just starting to trickle down from luxury cars to more mainstream rides, but now many of those original systems look out of date because they lack newer features like cloud connectivity and onboard apps.
AgeroView avoids this problem by placing all of an infotainment system’s functions in the cloud. Without being tied to a car’s hard drive, they can updated easily, or deleted and replaced with new ones.
This is a trend we noticed at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Apps like Aha and Google Maps are being pitched as more flexible alternatives to hard drive-based music storage and navigation.
Agero says this new tech wasn’t designed solely to make car designers’ jobs easier, though. Drivers will be able to customize their dashboards (assuming they have cars with digital gauges) and center stack screens with the logos of their favorite sports teams, or give each infotainment function its own ringtone.
These customizable features will also be user-specific so, theoretically, a teenaged driver could import his or her settings into a parent’s car, then change everything back when it comes time to surrender the keys.
AgeroView could take car customization into the Digital Age, but we’ll have to see how it works in a production car before making a final judgment.