The challenge – Meeting the demand for in-car synchronicity

The vast number and types of mobile phones in use across the world, and the growing expectation for unrestricted mobile communication among car owners, means that automotive OEMs must develop connectivity and infotainment technologies that reliably support all communication devices in the vehicle.

In particular, OEMs must provide a user-interface that allows drivers to operate their phones and dashboard navigation systems in accordance with modern safety legislation. Drivers now take immediate synchronicity for granted when they step in the car. They demand reliable infotainment systems that will seamlessly coordinate and control the in-car experience.

Rather than strive individually for the same goal, the five members of the Consumer Electronics for Automotive (CE4A) working group – Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and VW – have pooled their resources beneath the umbrella of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). Together, in accordance with competition law, they standardise automotive specifications for wireless and wired interfaces between mobile devices and electronic control units (ECUs) in cars, for seamless integration.


The solution – Technical and organisational support for optimized user experience

Since 2007, Expleo has provided technical and organisational support to the CE4A, drawing on a close-working relationships with the five member OEMs. Our teams create new features to solve shared problems with connectivity and infotainment, which often result from updates in technology or insufficiently defined standards. As a conduit between the OEMs, we manage and run the necessary meetings throughout the year to keep the collaboration running smoothly. We also have close contacts with global mobile phone manufacturers, such as Apple and Samsung. Sitting in the middle of all these stakeholders, we are well positioned to instigate also meetings with major organisations such as the NFC-Forum, Wireless Power Consortium and JasPar on behalf of CE4A, and also carry out international interoperability test events.

Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group)

Expleo works directly with the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group), which oversees the development of Bluetooth standards for more than 36,000 member companies worldwide. We develop new Bluetooth features and enhance existing Bluetooth profiles, such as: HFP, A2DP, AVRCP, PBAP, MAP, MPS, TDS. We look forward to pushing forward the move to low-energy features, as well as next-generation technologies.

Compatibility testing of mobile devices

Our team has also developed a reference platform for CE4A where OEMs and mobile phone companies can test their own devices and simulate customer scenarios before new features reach the market. This prototyping platform provides cost efficiency with a highly automated test environment for new releases. Innovations can be tested both from the automotive or mobile phone perspective, as needed. The platform provides a REST API for automation, whereby code can be inputted to reduce the number of repetitive processes.

The outcome – increased interoperability and evolution of in-car experience

Now in the 15th year of support, Expleo´s work for CE4A demonstrates a reliable ability to ensure safe development of connectivity and infotainment technologies in the automotive industry.

Our long-term work with Bluetooth SIG has resulted in improved validation of the OEMs’ product roadmaps, increased interoperability of consumer electronics devices within vehicle electronics and state-of-the-art product evolution.

This longevity reflects a close-working relationship with the five member OEMs, and the Bluetooth SIG. In the last years, Expleo has filled various Chair and Vice-Chair positions in different working groups within the Bluetooth SIG, for example the Bluetooth SIG’s Audio, Telephony and Automotive working group since 2017. This role offers a privileged view of the latest developments in the connectivity and infotainment market, as well as participation in the Bluetooth Architectural Review Board (BARB).

In 2021 Expleo received the Bluetooth SIG award for outstanding technical contributions in Bluetooth SIG working groups.

Case studies