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[CES 2020] Samsung showcases 5G telematics system and digital cockpit

By Lim Chang-won Posted : January 8, 2020, 13:05 Updated : January 8, 2020, 13:05

This file image shows the front display panel of Samsung's digital cockpit that is being displayed at CES 2020. [Courtesy of Samsung Electronics]

LAS VEGAS -- A fresh drive by Samsung Electronics, the world's largest smartphone maker, to diversify its business portfolio into the rapidly growing market for connected technologies bore fruit with an order to provide a 5G-based telematics system to new electric vehicles to be produced by German auto giant BMW next year.

At CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Samsung said its 5G-ready telematics control unit (TCU) will be installed in BMW's iNEXT 1. The company said proudly that a 5G-based TCU would be applied to real vehicles for the first time. Telematics is an interdisciplinary field that encompasses telecommunications, vehicular technologies, road transportation, road safety, electrical engineering and computer science.

Samsung and its subsidiary, Harman International, a US-based global leader in connected car technology, have teamed up to develop 5G TCU, which allows passengers to download high-definition content and maps in real time and have uninterrupted video conferencing.

"We are leading innovation by commercializing 5G TCU for the first time by expanding 5G technology that we commercialized for the first time in the world," Samsung's automotive components division head Park Jong-hwan said. Samsung is working with SK Telecom, a top mobile carrier in South Korea, on a demonstration project to test 5G TCU on buses and taxis in Seoul.

Samsung has unveiled auto-related solutions that would enable new driving experiences to next-generation smart vehicles and its automobile chips allow car manufacturers to develop cutting-edge applications such as infotainment, advanced driving assistance systems and telematics. Infotainment is a type of media, usually television, that provides a combination of information and entertainment.

At CES 2020, Samsung also showcased its 5G-powered digital cockpit that provides connected experiences for drivers and passengers. "Digital Cockpit, which was introduced this time, allows users to enjoy infotainment in a variety of driving environments more safely and joyfully than last year's," Park said.

The 2020 version of Digital Cockpit enables seamless two-way connections between the home, the office and all the other spaces that users may visit while providing personalized experiences and in-car infotainment. Smart features, backed by Samsung's AI platform Bixby, actively support the driver and reinforces safe driving.

This file image shows the in-vehicle infotainment system of Samsung's digital cockpit that is being displayed at CES 2020. [Courtesy of Samsung Electronics]

Digital Cockpit 2020 incorporates eight displays and eight cameras. The driver can log in using either facial recognition or a smartphone fingerprint reader to activate the front display which provides visual navigation information. The dashboard display delivers visual notices and alerts.

Bixby monitors the driver's status, takes precautions to combat drowsiness, detects visitors at the driver's house and makes suggestions to control lights and home appliances.

When the driver or passengers connect mobile devices to Samsung DeX2, they will be able to read and work on documents from their PCs on the center information display. Users can connect multiple mobile devices at the same time.

Each passenger can listen to different music via speakers embedded in the headrests of their seats. A cabin talk feature allows the driver to conveniently talk to the passengers in the back seats without needing to turn their head

Micro-LEDs are used to form the 53.7-inch tail display. The vehicle can share messages and communicate the driver's status to parties outside and the display might show messages such as "roadworks ahead." Two seven-inch displays replace conventional side mirrors. The system monitors possible risks on the rear lateral sides of the vehicle.

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