Connectivity technology evolved from our commonly used mobile phones / smartphones and tablets. Recently, it has been widely seen not only in mobile phones / smartphones, but also in digital cameras, household appliances, game consoles, health care equipment and cars, as long as they are mechanical equipment. Murata put forward the slogan of “connecting the world happily with connectivity technology!” and made proposals and efforts for various connectivity technologies. The following focuses on the efforts made by Murata for vehicle connectivity technology.
Vehicle mounted connection module of Murata
Murata vehicle connection module has been equipped with Bluetooth module equipped with car navigation and car audio system around 2003. These modules are wirelessly connected through the mobile phone or portable music device carried into the car through Bluetooth to realize the functions of hands-free and music playback, and contribute to improving the convenience of drivers without hindering safety.
In this Bluetooth module, in addition to the hardware required by Bluetooth to ensure wireless performance, it also has built-in software commonly used by users, such as hands-free, music playback, phonebook transmission and so on. In other words, the software also includes the voice recognition function of the driver without affecting the safety performance, the echo cancellation / noise reduction (EC / NR) function to improve the sound quality, and the function to improve the interconnection with various types of target devices.
Recently, W-Lan function, GPS function, NFC function and other new wireless system combination modules have been added to Bluetooth, and the development and commercialization are also in progress (Fig. 1). In particular, W-Lan system is the most expected system for vehicle connection in the future. We will make full use of Murata’s rich experience and achievements in the connection module for consumer equipment, and provide all support for software covering driver transplantation, system performance evaluation and various certifications. (Figure 2)
Figure 1: Bluetooth + W-Lan + GPS integrated module for car navigation and car audio
Figure 2: W-Lan system fully supported
Murata’s vehicle connectivity modules have sold more than 13 million by December 2012 and are installed in cars all over the world.
Requirements of vehicle mounted products and Murata’s efforts
Compared with general consumer equipment, the service time of automobile is longer and the service environment is more severe. Moreover, the car is a device related to the safety of life and property. Of course, its requirements will be very strict.
However, the on-board connection module is not only required to have wireless function and performance, but also requires high / long-term reliability, long-term supply and continuous quality improvement (zero defects). Therefore, in order to meet such requirements and conditions, development technology, evaluation technology and manufacturing technology are very important.
With excellent product design, it is very important to have high-quality performance and ensure sustainable and stable production and manufacturing technology. Now, all connectivity modules of Murata, including those for on-board use, are produced in our factory. Therefore, the on-board quality determined from the early stage of development can be ensured. The production process of on-board connectivity module is basically similar to that of consumer equipment module. It must be divided from the production line. If there is a special on-board product production line, it will be produced on this special production line. In order to achieve the on-board quality, the special department of on-board products arranges the staff who have obtained the qualification certificate of data management and worker certification system for operation, and also intervenes in the special inspection project and the organization of traceability, so as to realize the basic concept of automobile product manufacturing – zero defect through these means.
It can be seen that in the future, connectivity technology will gradually be put into new wireless systems and new applications, and will continue to expand. Car connectivity technology will also become multifunctional. But I think no matter how the product changes, the car oriented concept and efforts described here will not change. I think whether we can carefully focus on quality step by step based on the vehicle concept ultimately determines the quality.
Future in vehicle connectivity technology
Connectivity technology will also become one of the key technologies supporting the evolution of vehicles in the future. Here are some scenarios that may be used in the future. Nowadays, Bluetooth is mainly used for voice and driving. Recently, the standard of installing W-Lan function in smart phones has begun, and this function has been added to on-board devices, making it possible to connect with smart phones equipped with W-Lan system. Therefore, the external network and smart phone in the connection hotspot can be controlled and used through the on-board equipment. You can also play animation.
In other short-range wireless systems, ble (Bluetooth low energy) and NFC (near field communication) systems have also attracted much attention. These communication systems will also be listed as the standard equipment of smart phones in the future. For example, the private mobile phone will become his car key. It will unlock only when the driver approaches the car. The handle position and seat position can be customized according to the individual.
NFC is a technology used in “mobile wallet” and “mobile suica”, so it is also considering pairing with Bluetooth and W-Lan in the car. The above is mainly the content of the use of information and entertainment system, and the use of vehicle to vehicle and road to vehicle communication to alleviate congestion and safety support is also being studied. The expansion of on-board wired harness wireless caused by multi-function may also be solved in the future.
From the information and entertainment system in the car to the safe car of “walking, turning and stopping”, it has a wide range of applications. Relatively high reliability is necessary. It is also necessary to make further breakthroughs in safe wireless. It can be said that the on-board connectivity technology has infinite potential.
Murata, with the slogan of “connecting the world happily with connectivity technology”, is committed to a variety of wireless systems and makes proposals for the connection technology of various devices in the world. These will also become the basic technologies of on-board connectivity technology in the future. In the near future, while introducing various sensors, we also want to propose an attractive overall solution that can be combined with other technologies and products held by our company that have been adopted in customers’ cars.
Responsible editor: GT