Porsche uses HTML5 to connect to the Cloud

April 17, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
For some time, HTML5 is regarded as a kind of Swiss Army knife for automotive infotainment developers. Car manufacturer Porsche utilises HTML5 in its super sports vehicle 918 Spyder as the technology platform for its infotainment system.

The 918 Spyder is a super sports car in any sense - its V8 combustion engine delivers more than 600 HP (450 KW), and for those who find this is not enough, two electric motors at front and rear axle offer an additional power of 210 KW. Other features o the plug-in hybrid driven vehicle include torque vectoring and a specific, highly effective energy recuperation system. And, of course, HTML5 in the infotainment system which has been developed by engineering company s1nn GmbH.

HTML5 allows applications to be stored directly in the infotainment unit; optionally the system connects to a smartphone or tablet computer or even to the cloud to run their apps. Unlike systems such as MirrorLink or Apple's CarPlay, HTML5 enables the system to run apps independent of the smartphone or tablet operating system. Though the infotainment design is based on an 'always on' philosophy, the HTML5 enables users to run apps even with limited or no internet access.

"We regard the 918 Spyder as a flagship project in every sense", says Rolf Hartmann, general manager of Porsche's Interactive Electronics segment. "Likewise, the 918 Spyder's infotainment system is a technology carrier. The HTML5 solution is the world's first web-based infotainment system". With many new syntactic features, the latest version of the well-established HTML markup language offers users the same look-and-feel as they are used from their mobile phones. Among others, HTML5 subsumes the functions of HTML4, XHTML1 and DOM Level 2 HTML. With this feature set, HTML5 provides much more flexibility than existing solutions; carmakers can react quickly to changing user requirements and swiftly offer new apps or services. In contrast to today's infotainment systems, the web-based system can be updated and thus be adapted to new technology developments.

The infotainment system of the 918 Spyder has two displays, simplifying the user interaction. The main menu is hosted on a tablet-like 7-inch Multitouch display in the centre console.