Sony and German supplier Elektrobit reinvent the in-cabin user experience
Behind the scenes, combining these disparate features and systems, is German software provider Elektrobit. The two companies have worked together to develop and refine the user experience, including infotainment hardware and software integrations, instrument cluster and voice assistant.
Kawanishi said Sony was impressed not only with the company’s software experience in automotive technology, but also with its ability to use agile development processes.
Additionally, Elektrobit’s experience in integrating mobile devices – several of the company’s human-machine interface engineers previously worked at Nokia – set the company apart when Sony began researching. of suppliers in 2018.
“These things were very important to Sony because future mobility has to evolve through software, and they had this unique skill set,” he said.
The collaboration with Sony has enabled Elektrobit to practice and showcase the benefits of agile development, a set of philosophies and practices focused on cross-functional collaboration, flexibility and iterative improvements.
“Everyone’s talking about how you can master complexity if you’re really nimble,” said Christian Reinhard, CTO and CEO of Elektrobit. “It really allows you to go further. You iterate iterations, and then you look at the result. Then you can say, “OK, what’s the next big thing? Everyone tries to do it. With Sony, it’s really in place. This is the most exciting thing. It might be a little cheesy, but it’s exciting to me.
For Elektrobit, an independent subsidiary of Continental, the work in progress with Sony allows the company to do more than offer its expertise in embedded and connected software; it enabled Elektrobit to evolve into a systems integrator.
The company’s Cockpit Systems Solutions product, for example, stems from its work with Sony. Other automakers are now working with these products, although the company is not disclosing other partners.
“In the past, we were used to implementing smaller parts,” said Reinhard. “It’s quite new for Elektrobit to be in this role of integrator.”