AGL Member Spotlight: HARMAN

By April 11, 2017Blog

The AGL community is comprised of a diverse set of member companies that are collaborating on enabling the next generation of in-vehicle software systems. This blog series highlights AGL members and how they are contributing to open source software solutions that will benefit the entire automotive industry.

Name: Dean Miles
Title: SVP & Head of Automotive Sales Connected Services
Company: HARMAN

Can you tell me a little bit about HARMAN?
HARMAN provides solutions/platforms/frameworks/pre-established sub-systems to automakers/Tier 1 suppliers to help them create connected, multi-screen, personalized, adaptive and secure In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) systems. The pre-integrated solutions from HARMAN provides automakers with a flexible architecture to develop IVI more expediently while creating better user experiences.

Why is your company adopting an open source approach? What are the benefits?
As In-Vehicle Infotainment systems become more complex in order to keep up with evolving consumer demands, we are trying to address the market need for a common standard to achieve lower time to market and ease development of customer IVI systems.

HARMAN offers automakers and their suppliers a proven, robust GENIVI-compliant, Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), Tizen-based IVI solution. The Tizen In-Vehicle Infotainment software platform is designed to enable rich internet and multimedia consumer experiences for vehicles. Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) builds on top of Tizen IVI and adds key applications developed in HTML5 and JavaScript into a single open source reference platform.

We believe that collaboration amongst ecosystem players will enhance the IVI solution effectiveness, encourage innovation and improve faster adoption of new technologies, which in turn benefits the customer. Compliance with industry standards like AVnu and collaboration with industry bodies like AGL have become a critical requirement among automakers and their suppliers in selecting new IVI systems and software. Open source technologies will improve production times and help us to empower customers with flexibility to realize their IVI vision.

HARMAN is an active member of the following industry alliances:

The Linux Foundation

  • Active Linux Foundation and AGL member
  • Large scale global delivery center for Linux based platform development

GENIVI

  • Core Member and Chair of the GENIVI Board of Directors
  • Solution provider for GENIVI compliant OS distribution

Additionally, HARMAN is a solution provider for AVnu certified EAVB, which has been contributed to open source.

Why did you join AGL?
Automakers across the world are working towards meeting the consumer expectations for the same connectivity in cars as what they enjoy at homes and offices. By leveraging the USD 10 Billion collective investment (Source: Value of Linux Report) already made in the Linux kernel and taking advantage of the technology contributions from the consumer electronics and enterprise computing markets, carmakers can use Linux and open source technologies to accelerate innovation.

HARMAN recognizes the value of Linux in enabling the future of car technologies, and we wanted to maximize our investment in the platform through a Linux Foundation membership. HARMAN was one of the first members to participate in Automotive Grade Linux, and we continue to collaborate on efforts to broadly support open source technology in the automotive industry.

We believe that a community distribution of Linux is necessary, as a collaborative development of the core set of requirements specific to the automotive industry would help to meet customer demands faster and more efficiently.

Being an active member of AGL helps us realize our IVI vision and enables us to contribute our rich experience developing IVI systems for automakers and Tier 1 suppliers to a larger community that is collectively working on automotive applications delivering connectivity experiences to customers. Also, having a unified code base ensures that the overall robustness rules and security levels are actually implemented correctly. It aids the steps that HARMAN takes towards offering secure connected car solutions over the cloud and otherwise to leading automakers.

HARMAN is very involved in AGL through our participation in expert groups, meetings and other activities. We are an active part of the architecture team and have participated in some of the face-to-face workshops. Last month, we participated on a panel at the All Member Meetings (AMM) in Tokyo. We also attended the AGL CES event in Las Vegas and the AMM Berlin where we showed a Qt framework on a Linux platform.

What do you think sets AGL apart from other industry alliances?
We appreciate and relate to the aggressiveness and proactiveness of AGL that helps deliver things faster. The meetings, partnerships and collaboration that they facilitate with other industry players helps us to deliver enriched customer experiences, meet customer demand and desires and deliver the same robustness and innovation that customers experience from other mobility service providers. AGL is solution-targeted and adopts a “code-first” philosophy which differentiates them from other industry alliances. By being part of AGL, we get to share and influence the industry to deliver superior IVI systems to automakers and their suppliers.

How will AGL help your business?
We plan to use the AGL Unified Code Base (UCB) distribution to deliver a modern in-vehicle infotainment and connected car experience for consumers. Providing automakers and their suppliers with a robust, compliant In-Vehicle Infotainment solution for building the next generation of IVI systems and services has become a necessity rather than an option. Using the AGL code base demonstrates our continued commitment to the automotive ecosystem to accelerate the standardization and innovation of the connected car.

AGL also helps with innovation of some of our products like HARMAN Ethernet AVB, In-Vehicle network solution which enhances our portfolio for In-Vehicle Infotainment. Collaboration and working with ecosystem players generates new perspectives and ideas. Disruptive innovation is what drives us at HARMAN and helps us to become the industry leader in whatever we deliver.

How do you anticipate AGL changing the automotive technology landscape?
AGL encourages automakers to use a shared Linux-based platform as the operating system in upcoming vehicle models. Hence, it can significantly reduce the time to market and makes it economical for automakers to introduce any change. The more automakers/suppliers that adopt the AGL unified code base, the more benefits that the automotive industry will reap from it.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining AGL?
Become an active member and collaborate with the ecosystem players. Be part of the expert groups and contribute to the Unified Code Base. The knowledge and experience that is shared in such groups in AGL will help you hone your business/product strategy and product roadmap. It helps you concentrate more on your area of expertise while also getting the best perspective on the other areas via members of AGL.