Cloud technology, big data and artificial intelligence are empowering automakers to create in-car experiences that rival the at-home experience for end users. Automakers themselves can leverage these technologies over time to consistently and cost-effectively meet consumers’ ever-changing needs and preferences in their vehicles.

At CES 2019, we unveiled HARMAN Ignite 3.0, our automotive digital ecosystem that curates an immersive driving experience through the cloud. With Ignite, automakers have the power to own experiences spanning the entire vehicle ownership life cycle – from the pre-purchase information-gathering phase, through the purchase transaction, and into the post-purchase service and maintenance stage.

Here's a glimpse at how a platform that provides consistent, cloud-based connectivity provides revolutionary benefits for stakeholders on all sides of the automotive equation. 


A Focus on Vehicle Health and Maintenance

Few things raise the blood pressure of any driver more quickly than the dreaded “Check Engine” light. But, cloud connectivity can even take the sting out of maintenance notifications. Before the advent of connected vehicles, owners weren’t able to foresee vehicular issues in advance of the car actually breaking down, or coming close to it, while the car was on and in operation i.e., on the road. Through advanced diagnostics programs combined with IoT and in-car connectivity, automakers are able to offer services to their customers that provide insight into their vehicle’s quality and overall health.

For instance, advanced use of intelligent cloud applications and telematics could alert the owner about maintenance issues that can affect passenger safety, such as parts that need replacement, overdue services, low tire pressure and/or a malfunctioning engine, much sooner than was ever before possible. This greatly helps reduce operation costs of a vehicle, reaction time to problems, accident liability and enhances the overall customer experience.

Easy Remote Software Updates

Did you know that the average new vehicle in 2019 has over 100 Electronic Control Units (ECU)? With such electronic component complexity, the ability to update automobiles with over-the-air (OTA) software is vitally important, especially as the industry inches closer to autonomous cars.

The ability to prove remote software updates is proving invaluable for OEMs refreshing vehicle systems such as infotainment and navigation.

Cutting-edge automotive cloud solutions enable OTA updates and management of the whole car – from head units to the smallest ECUs. A secure end-to-end OTA solution offers countless benefits, such as reduced software-related recall and warranty costs and continuous software deployment cycles. Additionally, the resulting insight from vehicle updates, data collection and analysis provides car dealers with a secure and powerful way to mitigate risk and increase safety for their customers.

Digitizing Life in the Car

The driving experience looks completely different than it did even just a few years ago, as cloud-powered automotive technology allows our vehicles to become a hub for our digital lifestyles. Within the automotive context, this can mean placing added emphasis on individualizing the interior to make an owned vehicle even more distinctly yours. It also provides seamless, door-to-door access to personal settings and content throughout a journey, enabling a truly connected life. These preferences sync to the cloud, enabling a driver to ‘log in’ to their vehicle and transfer all settings before the road trip begins.

The future of voice assistants like Siri and Alexa isn’t limited to our homes – it’s migrating to our cars. AI-powered voice assistants in the car can enhance the in-vehicle experience with full conversations to support complex requests. The results are increased features and functions available through voice instruction and reduced driver distraction.

Additionally, automakers can offer the best internet-based audio in their vehicles. The driver can listen to the latest episode of his/her favorite podcast without having to sync a smart phone, have Tweets read aloud while driving, tune in to a favorite radio stream and much more. The solution seamlessly integrates with other vehicle services offered in the infotainment center.

With AI, IoT and the cloud, we know we have just scratched the surface of what is possible in automotive. There is definitely more to come - and we’re dedicated to leading this effort, working with our OEM partners to create value that drives the industry forward. Learn how HARMAN accelerates the connected vehicle vision and improves the car ownership experience: