HARMAN today is starting off its CES announcements with a bang. Announcing the next generation of its Ignite Secure Cloud Platform, which is made for automotive OEM's to use in its vehicles. This next generation of Ignite allows auto makers to utilize new services and monetization opportunities. Currently, the platform is being used by 29 OEMs around the world, and it delivers HARMAN's Remote Vehicle Updating over-the-air solution, which itself is being used by 18 OEM's around the world as of right now. What's new with Ignite is the integration of the HARMAN SHIELD Automotive Cyber Security platform. This is going to provide auto makers with a robust suite of solutions to protect its vehicles from potential cyber attacks. Now that's what is coming to Ignite as a platform, but HARMAN is also debuting a few new features for the cloud side of things with Ignite, including parental controls, personal assistant support, HARMAN Intelligent Platform, HARMAN Cyber Security Analysis Center and also Nexshop.
The Parental Controls solution that HARMAN has here is actually similar to what Chevrolet has already added to its vehicles. It allows a parent to track the vehicle speed and compare that against the speed limit, and see when the driver hard accelerates or hard brakes. As well as establishing and monitoring geo-fences, finally parents can defining and monitoring curfews. While this might seem like a lot of reaching, it is going to help teenage drivers stay safe, and allow their parents to know that they are driving safely when they aren't around. HARMAN Ignite also adds support for a ton of personal assistants. Included is Samsung's Bixby, IBM Watson and Amazon Alexa. Notably absent here is Microsoft Cortana and Google Assistant. HARMAN says that this solution "enhances the traditional on-board voice recognition and natural language processing functions." Perhaps the most interesting part of this feature, is it allows car-sharing programs to offer customers the AI assistant that they prefer, whether that is Alexa, Watson or Bixby.
When it comes to the HARMAN Intelligent platform, the company is using machine learning algorithms that auto makers will be able to integrate into a wide array of new applications as well as services. This includes monitoring the vehicle health, how the driver is driving and personalizing the experience for the passenger. HARMAN also debuted the Cyber Security Analysis Center, which offers OEMs as well as fleet managers the ability to access all security events within the network. HARMAN says that this analysis center can be integrated into existing SOC/SIEM solutions.
Finally, there's Nexshop. The Nexshop Automotive Retail Suite is basically a way for dealerships to improve the customer experience when purchasing a vehicle, whether at the dealership or online. Dealerships can also utilize virtual reality to put the customer in the driver seat without them coming to the dealership. Everything here is going to be on display at HARMAN's booth at CES 2018 this week.