Daimler, Audi declare MOST150 ready for mass production
At the MOST Forum in Frankfurt, the first OEMs announced roll-out time lines for the latest version of the MOST infotainment bus. The Volkswagen group plans to integrate the fast data bus in Audi’s A3 volume vehicle in 2012. Daimler pursuits a different strategy, planning to start with its flagship S-class models in 2013.
In his presentation, Daimler’s telematics executive Peter Häußermann provided an overview over the MOST150 maturity status at the luxury car maker. The company’s requirements for the next-generation infotainment system data bus included support for internet-based services including enhanced video, further integration of consumer electronics devices, harmonized communication links and multi-seat capabilities as well as support for split view displays. All these requirements result in the need of a very high bandwidth and low latency times, he said.
Bandwidth drivers are HD audio (7.1 surround) supporting several domains such as digital radio and internet radio reception; video streaming to several displays and the "huge amount of bulk data caused by consumer device integration and internet applications", Häußermann said.
At the same time, any next-generation data bus would have to maintain the features of the MOST25 system currently used in most of Daimler’s product line. Costs per node had to be at a similar level as MOST25. Häußermann added that MOST150 met all these requirements.
According to Häußermann’s status report for MOST150, the infotainment bus has passed all performance and stability evaluations. The wire harness can be reused completely, and bug fixing is currently in the final stage. "MOST15 is ready for mass production", Häußermann summed up.
His colleague at Audi, Stephan Esch, provided a similar summary. According to Esch, the migration from MOST25 to MOST150 will dramatically reduce the bandwidth utilization in the in-car infotainment network: While today’s infotainment applications demand 95 percent of MOST25’s bandwidth, only 14 percent of a MOST150 system’s bandwidth will be utilized by the same applications.
At Audi – the first company in the Volkswagen group to bring MOST150 to volume production – the data bus already has passed the bug fixing phase. "MOST150 has been transferred to series production", Esch said.
In contrast to Daimler which will roll out MOST150 first in its high end, the Volkswagen group will offer MOST150-equipped vehicles first in its compact class – first Audi’s A3, then the similar Golf compact model and later comparable models at Seat and Skoda. Unlike Daimler, the Volkswagen group plans a two-phase roll-out, with the first phase including standard infotainment applications. Phase two will include support for a cluster instrument, online services and rear-seat video over the MOST bus.
Future infotainment requirements for Audi include migration of CE features to the car platform, support for internet radio, Universal Plug-and-Play (UpnP), online connectivity, Wifi, UMTS and LTE as the communications platform not only for the occupants but also for the cars, and Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) connectivity. "We look into possibilities to combine ADAS and infotainment", Esch said. In this context, the company’s search currently focuses on performance and architecture.
For the next-but-one phase, Esch outlined very demanding ADAS applications involving up to seven high-bandwidth cameras at several places of the car. In addition, future ADAS systems will be interconnected to the vehicles infotainment system and probably to the internet, adding to the data traffic across the in-car network. At this stage, the limits for MOST150 will already come in sight – all these all whistles and bells will already drive the bandwidth utilization for MOST150 to 60 percent.