It was clear from last year’s Telematics events that there is a strong appetite among tier 1s and OEMs for integrating more Bluetooth® Smart connectivity applications.
Later in 2014, the first volumes of Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) based on CSR’s Bluetooth Smart technology will be hitting the aftermarket space. It’s just one example of a multitude of opportunities to exploit Bluetooth Smart in-vehicle. From keyless entry systems replacing proprietary lock and unlock technologies to smartphone apps saving drivers preferred settings and displaying diagnostic information, controlling your vehicle directly from your smartphone as opposed to via the car’s telematics control unit is certainly an attractive proposition for consumers and businesses alike. Imagine car rental businesses such as Hertz and Avis providing apps that configure the rental car according to your preferences when you enter the vehicle.
While certainly convenient, this is not the primary reason for car makers to choose Bluetooth Smart. It comes down to economics. Bluetooth Smart reduces the need for as much wiring and cabling in the car, and wire replacement applications can substantially reduce the weight (up to several kilos) and complexity of establishing communication networks in the car. Ultimately it offers the opportunity to consolidate systems. TPMS and keyless systems using Bluetooth Smart can communicate directly to the dual-mode head unit device, thereby eliminating the need for dedicated TPMS and keyless receivers.
In addition, since Bluetooth Smart is a globally licensed ISM band technology, using it reduces costs associated with geographical skews that the varying frequencies of TPMS and keyless systems currently produce.
Dual-mode Bluetooth Smart chips have been shipping into the automotive market since 2011 and are already embedded in head units, ready to communicate with the Bluetooth Smart chips in steering wheel switches, TPMS sensors, key fobs, remote controls etc. We expect the global Bluetooth Smart attach rate to significantly increase over the coming years. With the CSR1010™ auto, as well as the CSRC9300™ audio-centric Bluetooth Smart/Wi-Fi® combo chip (now in mass production) and the CSR8350™, CSR is primed to meet suppliers’ Bluetooth Smart requirements.
Our recently launched CSRmesh™ solution, which is a protocol that enables ad-hoc over multiple Bluetooth Smart nodes, can also be wielded to significantly enhance many non-safety critical functions in the car. For example, a high rise parking lot with sensors throughout would be able to tell an incoming driver where exactly in the lot free spaces are, using CSRmesh to communicate with the sensors throughout the lot to locate that free space.
CSR will be demoing its Bluetooth Smart solutions at Telematics Detroit 2014 – feel free to visit CSR at booth 77.