Adam Creamer - 17 November 2020
For over a century when someone spoke about being connected with their car, they likely meant feeling the road through the chassis, anticipating body roll around a hairpin turn, or just enjoying the roar of the engine. We’re over 130 years since the first car, though, and being connected has a whole different meaning in today’s digital world.
Between the innovative infotainment systems, personalized digital dashboards, immersive sound systems, perceptive safety features, and even touch screens in the back for the kids, being ‘connected’ to your car is more about the technology than ever before.
There’s a lot of different types of technology in today’s cars, so let’s focus on one in particular in this post: the In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) system. It wasn’t too long ago that the IVI consisted of an AM/FM radio and a cassette player (or CD player once the 90s came along).
Now, though, these systems not only include numerous entertainment options, many incorporate vehicle controls and other functions as well. With everything from Apple Car Play and Android Auto, to climate controls and safety information, the modern IVI is a complex ecosystem projected to have a market value on its own of $78 Billion by 2025.
It may seem like a challenge to continually innovate, develop, and release new IVI software to catch the eye of prospective buyers and maintain loyalty among current drivers…but it doesn’t have to be. Below are 3 ways to not only improve, but future proof your in-vehicle infotainment systems.
1) Test from the User’s Perspective
As mentioned above, IVI systems are very complex. Drivers and passengers can do much more than just play music, make a call, or start navigation. Many systems include some sort of vehicle control – be it something as simple as resetting an oil light, or more crucial like turning on the wipers when it starts to rain – along with integrations to popular phone-based user interfaces such as Apple Car Play and Android Auto.
It’s one thing to test the code to make sure that your system has no bugs, it’s another to test the full experience along with all of the potential connected devices your IVI integrates with.
Is the display showing the right icons? Is the Bluetooth on and the phone connected? Can you easily exit Car Play to turn on the heater? These are just a few of the thousands of user journeys within IVI systems. For many now, the journey even begins before entering the vehicle. Can the driver easily start the car from the mobile app before leaving their home?
Intelligent test automation not only enables test coverage across all of these paths, but it ensures that drivers and passengers are happy and safe behind the wheel.
2) Test AI with AI
From software development to the built-in smart assistants, artificial intelligence has become a driving force behind IVI technology. To ensure that your infotainment systems run at peak performance with optimal user experiences, you need to test AI with AI.
AI-powered testing works by continuously monitoring how real users are interacting with the IVI. By doing this, the platform feeds vital information back into the development process to ensure that your team can release quality software faster.
At the same time, the intelligent testing platform uses this information to better optimize the tests being run. This not only ensures greater coverage and faster test times, it also boosts the efficiency of your team by freeing them up to focus efforts on the next great innovation to come out of your organization.
3) Look to Non-Invasive, Technology Agnostic Vendors
Technology in the automotive sector is constantly evolving. Because of this you can’t afford to get locked into an ecosystem that may be obsolete in just a few years’ time. By selecting an intelligent testing platform that is both non-invasive and agnostic, you can reliably test your IVI and any other technology integrated with it regardless of changes to the environment.
This also means that you can rest assured that you’ll be able to test future systems that may not even be in your development cycle yet. Be it 5G connectivity and in-car Wi-Fi, car-to-car communication systems, or even autonomous driving controls, non-invasive test automation platforms can help future proof your user experience testing.
Automotive transportation has grown to be so much more than just moving from one place to another. Driver’s today expect their vehicles to keep them informed and safely connected to the world with easy-to-use IVI.
Get to know your drivers with an AI-powered test automation platform like Eggplant’s Digital Automation Intelligence (DAI), and deliver a new standard for IVI performance.
Eggplant DAI allows you to test beyond the user interface of your IVI to include things like audio and video output, voice commands, and even physical button presses. With Eggplant you can test the full driver experience from end-to-end, ensuring happy drivers and passengers for miles to come.