Harman launched the Ignite Store Developer Portal, a developer hub for the Android Automotive community, to streamline and speed up the process of bringing new customer experiences to vehicles. We spoke to Albert Jordan, vice president of the Harman Ignite Store business unit, for more information.
I spoke to Harman when I launched Harman Ignite in 2018. What is the HarmanIgniteStoreDevelopers Portal? How does this affect a wider range of Ignite products?
First of all, thank you for the opportunity to discuss our latest developments. As a complete package, Harman Ignite Store gives OEMs the ability to create their own brand experience throughout the vehicle lifecycle, delivered in a Software as a Service (SaaS) model. As you know, we launched the Harman Ignite Store in 2018 to support the deployment and deployment of cloud services and applications in vehicles. Compliant with the Android Automotive operating system, Harman Ignite Store is the leading connected car platform that enables OEMs to deliver third-party apps and services, as well as their own on-demand apps, services and features.
Today, the Harman Ignite Store Developer Portal streamlines the process of app development and authentication. The Harman Ignite Store Developer Portal provides Android developers with a wealth of documentation, code snippets, best practices from other developers, and access to product managers, UI experts, and designers. Once the app is ready, developers can submit the app to the Harman Ignite store through the portal. There it is tested and certified by Harman to ensure that the application meets automotive grade requirements such as safety, performance and driver distraction. Developers can also select the make and model, region and platform they can target. Once the application is approved, the OEM has full control over the distribution and availability of the application in the vehicle based on variables such as trim level, geographic location, and model type. The Harman Ignite store connects consumers to their favorite brands, responds to the demands of today’s consumers and transforms vehicles into a “third living space”.
Why does Herman see this kind of solution as a priority?
We are at a major turning point in the automotive industry. Vehicles are the “next frontier” of entertainment and a seamless lifestyle, as consumers now expect the same experience as mobile devices. The value of a car shifts from the traditional material to the experience it offers. At Harman, this is what we call the RPM to EPM value transfer or “experience per mile”.
Consumers may now be familiar with integrating and mirroring smartphones, but it has performance and integration limitations. Access to the cloud and to third-party applications and services offers a significant opportunity to drive an advanced experience. For example, real-time navigation updates on traffic and parking availability, personal assistants and productivity features. With this platform, developers and OEMs are working more closely to provide a streamlined approach to deliver an enhanced vehicle experience.
There are other automotive application platforms, why should developers choose this? What are the benefits?
Currently, there is no standard Android app store for commercial use except the Google Automotive Services (GAS) Play Store. Some OEMs have tried to build their own app store, but none have been successful. With the rise of Android, OEMs are looking for industry solutions that offer an alternative route for the deployment of third-party applications in their vehicles. This is the void that this solution tries to fill.
The introduction of new applications and services in vehicles has always been difficult. In the past, it took years of negotiation, design review, integration testing, and drive testing to integrate an application into the vehicle. The Harman Ignite Store Developer Portal dramatically shortens and streamlines the entire process, giving apps quick access to the automotive ecosystem and consumers.
For developers, the benefits are clear. Build for this store via a self-service platform. The self-service platform provides the ability to collaborate, test and document applications within the portal. Herman helps us review the applications developed through the portal and ensure that they are effective and suitable for the automotive environment. These are deployed on multiple OEM systems. Developing an application requires only one certification, rather than multiple certifications for individual manufacturers and systems.
While future developers will have access to many of the world’s top automotive OEMs through the platform, they can also further target their products and focus on specific regions, brands and / or vehicles. Developers can access a variety of resources such as toolkits, technical documentation, best practices, code samples, training, and other development aids to monitor application performance and gain useful information. for future improvements. I can do it.
Tell us more about the benefits for OEMs. How does this permeate the end consumer?
The Developer Portal enables OEMs to create new branded and integrated experiences across their products to create the rich in-car experience customers demand. Direct developer involvement guarantees OEMs constant new content while maintaining complete discretion in implementing applications on branded vehicles through the Harman Ignite store. OEMs can also benefit from new digital revenue streams while minimizing the traditional costs associated with finding new technology solutions. The flexibility of this solution allows manufacturers to deploy their preferred navigation system, from TomTom to MapBox, etc.
For consumers, this flexibility is continually renewed via Over-the-Air (OTA), making installations of third-party apps that already improve daily life easily accessible in the car. An update that means enabling personalized content. The Harman Ignite store accelerates new in-vehicle experiences, such as a cloud ecosystem that reminds drivers of upcoming projects, orders coffee as they approach their favorite coffee shop, and increases productivity with office-related apps. Useful for.
There are real concerns within industry and consumers about the impact of cloud services on data privacy and cybersecurity. What did Herman do to deal with this?
As a company, we implement cybersecurity throughout the product development lifecycle. OEMs and app owners set policies regarding data collection, use, and privacy. Ignite does not collect PII (Personally Identifiable Information). We work with OEM customers to help end users maintain ownership of their data.
Additionally, what is the process to ensure that the application meets automotive grade safety requirements?
The Harman certification process guarantees a high level of quality and ensures that all applications and services are suitable for use in the context of the car. We propose a model-based approach to solving the problem of distracted driving. Specifically, OEMs can customize the model according to the guidelines. This is beneficial for third-party developers, as they do not have to modify their application to meet the requirements of each OEM’s guidelines.
How fast can an application be developed? When will applications created through this solution appear in production models?
The portal drastically reduces the time it takes to develop applications. It can take up to a year to develop an application for Android Automotive. With the Harman Ignite Store Developer Portal, you can do it in a matter of months or even weeks. We already offer various apps like Spotify, Yelp, LiveXLive, Radioplayer, Parkopedia, etc. through Harman Ignite Store, and we are welcoming more and more new partners. Audio Burst was announced in April.
We are discussing the Herman Ignite Store with several OEMs, and during the development phase we are discussing with the major global OEMs who will benefit from it. It will be announced shortly. Our ambitions for the Harman Ignite Store are great and there is a lot to offer OEMs through our solutions.