As a father in a family that has spent a lot of time on the road, particularly round-tripping on Route 80 from Ohio to New Jersey for just about every holiday, I know from experience that multimedia in the car can be a lifesaver! With my three kids at all the various stages growing from tot to teen, packed in our progressively wired wagons and minivans, we have definitely made the most of in-car entertainment.
I’ll never forget the worst traffic delay of my life— a Thanksgiving eve when the freeway ramps in Ohio were sheeted with ice, a truck had flipped on a connecting ramp, and traffic sat idling for close to 10 hours. It was such a long delay, some cars were running out of gas.
I had two little daughters in their car seats in the back. Sarah, age three, fell asleep. Anna, just a year old, listened joyously to a Snow White tape, over and over and over again.
It was one of those situations where we were lucky not to know in advance just how long we were going to be sitting there… nor how many times we’d hear the evil queen cackle about being “the fairest of them all” before we were able to start moving again!
Today’s families are even better equipped for long trips and attendant emergencies, with enough audio/ video material to keep a stranded family amused for hours. Not only that, the addition of GPS with real-time traffic data today could give us enough of a heads up warning to get off the freeway ahead of a backup and head for a motel or back home before getting stuck in a line of traffic for 10 hours!
With mobile WiMAX (IEEE 802.16e-2005) on the horizon, the range of data and entertainment options in the car is going to be even wider. Thank goodness, then, for MOST—Media Oriented Systems Transport— the de facto standard for multimedia and infotainment networking in the automotive industry integrating this increasingly rich technology. MOST offers an optimized architecture for the real-time transport of audio, video, data, and control. It is the backbone of modern infotainment systems.
We are pleased to partner with the MOST Cooperative to bring you this special supplement published inside Electronic Design and Auto Electronics magazines. It aims to raise visibility and awareness for the MOST Cooperation and the tools and technology that designers need to make MOST a reality. These reports focus on current and planned MOST implementations and the results and benefits they bring to real-world auto infotainment design.
We’d like to thank the MOST Cooperation for partnering with us on this project. I hope the info in this supplement will prove inspirational as you design the systems to keep the cars and kids of tomorrow on the move, no matter the challenges!