Smartphones get access to car infotainment via MOST bus

May 15, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
At their recent industry meeting, the MOST Cooperation demonstrated first functioning building blocks of a UPnP based connectivity between smartphones and in-car systems, in particular in the infotainment domain.

Support for the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) standard within MOST networks has been on MOSTCO's roadmap for quite a while. At the meeting of the MOST supporter industry in Esslingen, the group showed first partial implementations.

"While smartphones and other mobile devices are integrated into our daily lives, they are not integrated into our vehicles," said MOST Cooperation Administrator Rainer Klos. The UPnP approach enables the integration of consumer devices into MOST based vehicles. In this context it offers the potential to extend consumer devices with the seamless controlling capabilities currently experienced with integrated automotive head units, he added. In addition, the vehicle user interface can be more personalized and it can keep up with the short lifecycles of consumer electronics. In its current version, shared car environments particularly benefit from user preferences stored in the smartphone, such as a favourite radio station, seat position, stereo presets or climate control temperature. Upon connecting to the vehicle, these presets are applied automatically.

One use case is the exchange of audio data between a media server and a media renderer via the MOST synchronous channel. The connection establishment and the audio stream are managed by a standardized UPnP control point. The communication between the control point and the media server and renderer is transmitted by a gateway via the MOST Ethernet channel. The actual audio streaming is mapped to the MOST synchronous channel. This example consists of one audio/video control point and two controlled devices, a media server and a media renderer. In the automotive use case, the control point would be a smartphone with UPnP control point software. The media server and the media renderer would be integrated into in-vehicle devices, such as the head unit or the rear seat entertainment.