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					IT Cruiser Telematics Concept

DaimlerChrysler IT Cruiser Telematics Concept
DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Auburn Hills, Michigan DaimlerChrysler Research and Technology North America, Palo Alto, California Sun Microsystems, Southfield, Michigan

The combination of computers and electronics has transformed our home and work environments, but in the automobile the application of this powerful technology combination is still evolving. The race is on to develop in-vehicle computing systems that provide safety and control systems needed to operate the vehicle as well as infotainment, edutainment, entertainment and mobile ecommerce services in a safe and responsible manner. At DaimlerChrysler, we believe our vehicles provide more than just transportation: they provide personal mobility to reflect our customers’ lifestyles. Therefore, when a change in lifestyle occurs – such as the ubiquity of the Internet – we try to reflect that change in our products. As the manufacturer of a variety of passenger vehicles (cars, minivans, sport-utility vehicles, pickups, and even cross-over vehicles such as the PT Cruiser), DaimlerChrysler is keenly aware that the needs of customers vary considerably. To better understand how to design and build this new "lifestyle environment", DaimlerChrysler’s Research and Technology Center (RTC) in Palo Alto, California, teamed up with the DaimlerChrysler Liberty & Technical Affairs division, the DaimlerChrysler Design Office and Sun Microsystems, Inc. on a project that focused on providing Infotainment, Edutainment and Entertainment services and content to a vehicle over a wireless network. The goal is to showcase a family environment “Infotronic” system that meets the need of each family member.

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IT Cruiser Telematics Concept

Figure 1: Communication System Overview

Features and Applications
The following features and applications are part of the IT Cruiser Infotronic system developed by the DaimlerChrysler team: • • • • • • • Vehicle Zones Personalization Home Link Media Player and Media Beaming Location-based Online Trivia Game “Are We There Yet?” E-mail and Web-Browser
Figure 2: The main menu screen of the IT Cruiser Infotronic system

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IT Cruiser Telematics Concept Vehicle Zones The DaimlerChrysler IT Cruiser Infotronic system incorporates different physical areas for occupants to interact with the computing environment. These areas are referred to as Vehicle Zones. The four vehicle zones are shown in figure 3.
Driver Left Rear Cabin Zone Passenger Right Rear Cabin Zone

Figure 3: IT Cruiser Vehicle Zones

The Driver and Passenger Zones share the same computing interface but can` interact with it in different fashions. Drivers should stay focused on interacting with the vehicle controls and the road ahead. The Driver Zone is designed to be an integral part of the driver’s space, to enhance it but not intrude on it. With this in mind the driver of the vehicle has the ability to interact with the computing environment utilizing speech commands and to retrieve information via audible Text-toSpeech technology from the computer. There is also a visual display within the driver’s vision but it is only used for extra visual clues as to the status of a request. Since the passenger also shares this interaction interface, they can interact with the system utilizing push buttons located on the sides of the display. In this way, when a passenger is present, they can act as telematics navigators for the driver or enter personal requests into the system. The Cabin Zones are essentially equal zones with separate computing interfaces. In this way each rear cabin passenger has his or her own interface with the Infotronic system. Unlike the front cabin the rear cabin has displays that are touch sensitive. In this way the rear passengers can interact with the system by touching the buttons that are visible on the display. All four vehicle zones are interconnected via the vehicle network. They utilize this network to share information within the network as well as share network resources on the Internet. Personalization A networked environment needs to understand who its users are in order to deliver the appropriate information. Also, the need for individualism and security for the occupants should be implicit in the design of a system. For our research we chose a ubiquitous item that can be utilized for secure January 2001 3

IT Cruiser Telematics Concept entry into the Infotronic system. This item is the JavaCard, which is essentially a smart card with a Java enabled chip. The JavaCard is inserted into a card reader that can then identify the occupant and personalize the Vehicle Zone to match his or her requirements. Information such as name, address, email address, bookmarks, entertainment preferences, and user interface style are kept in persistent storage with the vehicle accessing it over the network. This enables the system to share information across vehicle zones, so that occupants can exchange positions inside the vehicle while each zone understands all the possible occupants and their personal settings. The JavaCard also adds the ability to make secure transactions using the Infotronic system. As stated on Sun’s JavaCard web site, “JavaCard technology can simultaneously accommodate applications in identification, authentication, debit/credit and e-purse for payments, secure healthcare information, and loyalty promotions, such as frequent-flyer miles, to name a few.” With applications available on the Internet, the JavaCard can be utilized to authenticate these types of transactions in any vehicle equipped with this Infotronic system. The use of the JavaCard and single board computers is also similar to the Sun Microsystems, Inc. SunRay solution which is now being installed in hotels, schools and other "multi-zone" environments to provide user specific services and accessibility regardless of "seat" or room location. Unlike a PC, the per seat cost is very low without sacrificing performance. Home Link The DaimlerChrysler Infotronic system enables drivers to connect to their home environment as well as download media from a home entertainment system to the vehicle. On the road, drivers can check the status of appliances and get them ready for arrival at home (such as the climate control). In addition, when the vehicle is parked at home the users can get a fast connection to their home network.
Figure 5: The Home Link Application Figure 4: A Java Card

The vehicle can also be connected to different services at

different times. On the road, the vehicle is connected to a wireless Internet provider network and can establish communication with the home via the Internet. At home, it is automatically

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IT Cruiser Telematics Concept connected to a high-speed wireless network and essentially is part of the home network. While connected to the home network, the driver can plan a trip and trade entertainment media from separate entertainment systems (vehicle or home). Together with researchers from the University of California at Berkeley, the team developed a home-network architecture that uses Jini and XML technology. Jini helps to create a spontaneous network that can have appliances added and removed to it at will with no administration. XML describes a particular home setup in a standard format so that the vehicle application can be used to connect to different homes. The appliances that can be controlled through this Jini network include lights, climate, sprinkler systems, cameras, alarm system, cooking appliances, and the home entertainment system. For example, a mock home environment set up to demonstrate the

DaimlerChrysler Infotronic system enables the driver to turn on lights in the garage and in the house as well as get real time pictures from a security system and of the family pet. Today, networked home applications are converging upon a Java standard being created by the Open Systems Gateway Initiative (OSGI) standards group. By incorporating the same technology in the car, the vehicle can easily join the networked home environment. Media Player and Media Beaming The in-vehicle entertainment system must be able to handle the new media that the Internet world has brought to us. The Infotronic system on the IT Cruiser includes a Media Player that handles a variety of formats and content. For the front seat we provide MP3 audio playback and access to audio-books. For the rear passenger zone we added video playback capabilities to the application.
Figure 6: The MP3 Player

The media files for these applications are provided by a

Media Beaming application, that links the vehicle to the home entertainment system. When the vehicle is in close proximity to home, a wireless local area network kicks in and gives high-speed access to synchronize audio and video files between the vehicle and the home entertainment system or home PC. The driver also has the ability to download the latest and greatest media from the Internet. In the future, the unique capabilities of Internet technologies will enable not only data, audio and video files to be downloaded, but also new applications such as new games.

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IT Cruiser Telematics Concept Location-based Online Trivia Game A vehicle electronics application must meet the lifestyle needs of the whole family, so the DaimlerChrylser Infotronic system incorporates educational games. For the kids in the back seats, we have included a location-based online learning game that we call Trivia2Go. This multi-player game entertains and educates back-seat passengers and can be played not
Figure 7: The Trivia2Go Welcome Screen

only between two players in one vehicle but also between multiple players in multiple vehicles, possibly

distributed over the entire world. The game is connected via the Internet to a game server that maintains an up-to-date question database. The questions in the database are indexed based on different categories and based on different geographic locations. If a vehicle client requests a question from the game server, a localization algorithm determines possible replies based on the GPS coordinates of the requesting vehicle. Therefore, if the vehicle is being driven through Palo Alto, California, a possible question could be: “What is the name of the University where you would find a building that is called Hoover tower?” The answer, of course, is -- well, you have to play for yourself. “Are We There Yet?” Thanks to the DaimlerChrysler Infotronic system, parents can finally answer this age-old question with great accuracy. Since onboard navigation systems

are available, data from these systems can be used to accurately plot the vehicle’s location on a

prearranged route – much like a flight plan for planes. This information, along with the current GPS information, can be used to estimate arrival time as well as provide passengers with a visual
Figure 8: The “Are We There Yet?” Screen

representation of location on the journey. With navigation services now available on some cell phones, some vehicles may also use a lower cost, but less flexible off-board navigation mapping

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IT Cruiser Telematics Concept and route calculation. By having a client/server-based system in the car, we will have the option of varying the mix of on and off board services to give customers the optimal combination of cost, performance and flexibility for their specific needs. Web Browser and E-mail As interactivity with the Internet becomes ever more common, people will expect to be able to retrieve the information it provides wherever they go. Thus the vehicle must enable driver and passengers to stay connected. DaimlerChrysler has added an email client and web browser to its vehicle applications. For safety reasons and to not distract the driver, the web browser is available only in the rear cabin. For the same reason, we implemented two different versions of the e-mail application, one for the front and one for the back cabin. The e-mail application in the front cabin can be controlled through voice commands and can only retrieve e-mails and read them via Text To Speech processing software. Advanced controls and replies are not enabled. The e-mail application in the back, however, is a fully featured implementation with send and retrieve capabilities.

Technical Concepts
In the implementation of the technical concepts of the IT Cruiser, the DaimlerChrysler/Sun team focused on technology that supports our themes and applications as well as different vehicle zones. The vehicle-internal hardware architecture consists of four Single Board Computers (SBC) that each runs a certified standard Java Virtual Machine (JVM) on top of a Linux operation system. One SBC is used as a communication gateway and also functions as a gateway to provide access to a Global Positioning System (GPS) and other vehicle functions, such as the access to the engine controller and the vehicle bus system. The other three SBCs are used as the Human Machine Interface computers for the front zone (driver and front passenger) as well as for the rear zones (the two back seats). The front zone uses a 6.4" LCD display in the center stack. Driver distraction is a concern that DaimlerChrysler takes very seriously; therefore the LCD screen in the front is not a touch screen. Instead, Speech Recognition (SR) technology as well as Text to Speech (TTS) technology is used to provide for a safer usage experience. The applications are based on the Java Speech Application Programming Interface (JSAPI) which allows use of the best speech engines available without the need to modify applications. January 2001 7

IT Cruiser Telematics Concept For ease of use, and because distraction is not that much of a concern, the two seat units in the back of the vehicle are equipped with 8.4" LCD touch screens. In addition to the touch screen, a wireless keyboard and voice control is provided for each seat unit in the back. Array microphones are used in all seat units to differentiate between voice commands in different vehicle zones and to eliminate background and road noise. In addition, all seat units are also equipped with a Smart Card Reader that allows for personalized and individualized access to the features and applications of the vehicle.

Figure 9: Hardware overview of the IT Cruiser Infotronic system

Because of the three competing factors -- cost, coverage and bandwidth -- connecting a vehicle to the Internet is still a challenge. For the IT Cruiser, the DaimlerChrysler research team implemented two different solutions. One solution realizes an anytime, anywhere connection that is lowbandwidth (19.2 kb/s up to 128 kb/s), but provides nationwide or at least metropolitan area coverage. The second implementation is a sometimes, somewhere solution that provides highbandwidth (up to 11Mb/s) at no service cost, but is only available when the vehicle is close to home or office. The DaimlerChrysler Research Lab is also working on a concept called drive-by info-fueling, where high-speed local area wireless network technology or high-bandwidth Dedicated Short Range Communication technology (DSRC) is used to send and receive data to and from moving vehicles at drive-by info-fueling stations (also called e-gas stations). These stations are located at January 2001 8

IT Cruiser Telematics Concept strategic points along the road side such as gas stations or convenient stores. This low-cost sometimes somewhere communication model allows for telematics applications such as digital map updates, MP3 downloads or vehicle condition monitoring that are not feasible with today’s communication technology. For example, some wireless service providers have indicated the willingness to provide more price attractive wireless rates if they could control the time of transmission. This would allow them to distribute the demand on their network over time. This could be applicable to updating basic local navigation map data in the car or automatic download of new games/music during off-peak hours. A Global Positioning System (GPS) is also connected to the vehicle. It not only supports a navigation system but also allows for optimized communication planning and automatic switching between different communication technologies. The software architecture for the in-vehicle computers is based on a 100 percent Java device platform called “deviceTop” from the Espial Group. With “deviceTop”, applications and services can be added, deleted and upgraded – all remotely and without user invention. It runs all

applications and services on one embedded Java Virtual Machine. The system incorporates a number of extensions to the standard “deviceTop” environment that provides interfaces and services for the in-vehicle applications. These services can provide access to the engine controller, the safety network or the body control network. Furthermore the team implemented an Abstract Media Interface (AMI) that sits on top of the Java Media Framework and the Java Speech API and arbitrates between competing requests for audio playback, text-to-speech output or speech recognition input. A GPS Service provides access to the vehicles location and allows for communication planning and a profiling service interfaces with the JavaCard reader and provides a personalization interface for the applications and services.

The development and demonstration of the IT Cruiser Infotronic prototype is another example of the benefits of DaimlerChrysler’s Extended Enterprise™ system. Different units within the

corporation have joined forces with key suppliers to develop a state-of-the-art system that demonstrates DaimlerChrysler’s continued commitment to technological leadership, this time in the area of telematics. The Infotronic shown in the IT Cruiser was also featured in the Dodge Super8 Hemi® concept vehicle, unveiled at the 2001 NAIAS in Detroit.

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IT Cruiser Telematics Concept

Figure 10: The Dodge Super8 Hemi® concept vehicle with the IT Cruiser Infotronic System

Analyzing today's approaches to networked vehicles, we found that there were several areas to improve upon, for example: • • • • • • It is not possible to deliver different services to different passengers. The car is billed for services, not individual passengers such as car-poolers or a friend's kids. You can only receive services in your own car - not a rental, company fleet or car pool. The car cannot communicate with your home network. The car cannot be a backup for the data and programs on your PDA, cell phone or game device. The car cannot choose the optimal bandwidth and cost wireless link into the car.

By leveraging the power of post PC technologies, such as Java, Jini, XML and Wireless, the DaimlerChrysler Research Team is leapfrogging the capabilities of systems available today and even those on the drawing boards of many automotive companies for the next few years. With the DaimlerChrysler Infotronic system, drivers and passengers can seamlessly access time-critical information, do convenience shopping and interact with the home environment, while children play games in the rear seats -- all personalized, all in real time, all on demand, and regardless of location. Very much like E-mail and Web-Browsing were the initial “killer apps” for the Internet; Navigation and Safety are the killer apps for telematics. Only seven years ago nobody envisioned the Internet as it is today – at DaimlerChrysler Telematics Research we are shaping the telematics systems of the future – just try to imagine yourself what you can expect from our telematics systems in the years to come.

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IT Cruiser Telematics Concept

DaimlerChrysler Corporation Sjoerd Dijkstra, Senior Communications Manager Design and Technology CIMS 485-06-48 1000 Chrysler Drive Auburn Hill, MI 48326-2766 (248) 512 2662 (phone) (248) 512 3003 (fax)

DaimlerChrysler Research and Technology North America Inc. Dr. Wieland Holfelder, Manager Smart Vehicles 1510 Page Mill Road Palo Alto, CA 94304 (650) 845 2568 (phone) (650) 845 2555 (fax)

Sun Microsystems, Inc. Mark Moody, Senior Java Architect 1000 Town Center Suite 1700 Southfield, MI 48075 (248) 948 2746 (phone) (248) 948 2602 (fax) James DeStefano, Strategic Marketing Manager 901 San Antonio Road MS CUP01-209 Palo Alto, CA 94303-4900 (408)517-5640 (phone) (408)343-1645 (fax) Sun Microsystems Intelligent Networked Vehicle Web Site


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