The rush to continuously build swanky Human machine interfaces (HMIs) in the pursuit of using the HMIs as a differentiator for brand/sales– the industry is asking questions about the cost that is going behind this mission.

With the ever-increasing complexity, is there a way to build and manage solutions that bring standardization benefits to the automotive ecosystem?

The industry today needs to decipher answers to questions such as -

  • Is there a way to standardize HMI implementation?
  • Can the reusability parameters be improved?
  • Importantly can the development costs be cut down?


Amit Limaye, AVP & Head- Infotainment & Clusters Practice, KPIT talks to Sunil Ravish, Marketing Manager at KPIT on lines of Car HMI USA 2016 conference. At the conference – KPIT will moderate a roundtable session - ‘Challenge your Peers’ to discuss ‘How can we drive standardization in HMI implementation - to improve reusability & reduce cost?’

Is it by zeroing on a couple of tool chains or creating an HMI architecture/ workflow asset-agnostic to the tool chain which can be quickly adopted on the HMI side as well as the modelling side etc.? What is the way forward? Pool in your views in the comments below

Excerpts from the conversation –

1. Do you think Standardization is easy as it seems OR is it a challenge?

“For driving design efficiencies, we need to remove redundancies in the workflow, build upon Automation and Standardization which will help promote reusability.”

It involves a big change in the thought process of how one approaches standardization of a platform, application or HMI. While it is not easy, it is one of the most important things for an automotive industry software to drive efficiencies.

While the industry has been already working around cost efficiencies; for driving design efficiencies, we need to remove redundancies in the workflow, build upon Automation and Standardization, which will help promote reusability and further optimize processes.

2. As the Industry is getting over the trend of the using HMI as a differentiator for brands, what do you consider are challenges that will be important to consider in this evolution?

“The OEMs/Tier1s not only want to own the development and control the specifications to stablish their brand differentiators, but also own the platform on which HMI will be developed.”

The challenges for the OEM /Tier 1s would be the way they look at HMI development as a vocation, their strategies regarding around the platform and the tool chain itself.

Alternatively, as a Tier1, delivering embedded system expertise requires developing/ investing in the approach of a product driven organization, focusing to make sure ,that the tool platform is consistent with where the market is moving; this involves an enormous amount of cost investment. On one hand, financial efficiencies may be achieved by not having to pay exorbitant licensing fees, and, on the other hand, the organization has to stay committed to the due investments to the tool platform.

For Tier1s, it even becomes more complicated, to own a tool, which may not be acceptable by all OEM partners. For some OEMs, while their throughput, performance and the visual appeal remain the key requirements, there are others that demand further personalization. In such cases, Tier1s might need to have their own platforms and also work on some additional tools for their OEM programs.

Today, as there are a certain dedicated set of companies that specialize in making such tools to garner a differentiated positioning in the market, the goal as a OEMs/ Tier1s should be to drive volume-centric deals.

3. What intrigued you to choose this topic over others?

Currently, there are a lot of off-the-shelf tools & custom built platforms currently available in the market- all boasting of different feature sets and advantages. They have contributed to the biggest standardization challenge that is daunting the industry today i.e. Fragmentation. The HMI development, which is tightly coupled with the tool being used, is affected by the changes occurring in programming language, platform, and style definition languages. The topic chosen enables us to reason and discuss how the industry views these challenges from a standardization standpoint.

4. Whom does this topic interests the most & who should participate in this discussion? What should people expect from the roundtable?

The focus for OEMs/Tier1s has shifted to “How can I get the HMI I want” From ‘At any cost’ To ‘At what cost.’

KPIT serves as an Independent Software and Solutions provider to the industry and from our interactions and engagements with the Tier1s and the OEM partners, we can strongly quote that the focus has shifted to “How can I get the HMI I want” from ‘At any cost’ to ‘At what cost’.

While the cost factors for building swanky HMIs involve licensing costs that are volume-based variable costs, the hefty part is the fixed cost that is involved in developing such HMI software.

With OEMs, increasingly driving the discussions around efficiencies and costs, concerning factors like the time, effort and change requests involved, this topic was chosen to help analyze whether standardization can help plug all such challenges in the future.

Importantly, this is a crucial aspect for Services organizations including KPIT to drive this internally and probe whether we can build efficiencies using standardization to build differentiated offerings.

KPIT is a sponsor at Car HMI USA 2016 conference. We invite OEMs/ Tier 1s / Service Providers, HMI tool makers and anyone who passionately delve with this topic to contribute to this roundtable discussion.

KPIT is a partner of choice to Automotive Industry to deliver best in class solutions and products across automotive subsystems like Infotainment, Instrument Clusters, Body Controls, Powertrain, Chassis, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and Diagnostics. We have been an engineering partner offering infotainment & instrument cluster solutions to major Automotive OEMs and Tier1 suppliers for the last two decades having designed, developed and tested several hundred features for production programs. An active member of GENIVI alliance - our industry best practices and domain experience enables you in your infotainment & instrument cluster - product development. Our key focus included areas of HMI design and development, Testing Automation, Software integration. We help you create next generation feature rich, robust and scalable solutions to the market.

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