Ficosa, a top-tier global provider devoted to the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of high-technology vision, safety, connectivity and efficiency systems for the automotive and mobility sectors, has presented its latest technological development for the connected car and autonomous vehicle at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017. In the event, Ficosa partnered with Panasonic at MWC with a stand that simulates a connected airport, showing the latest connectivity solutions developed for different sectors, from retail and automobile, to communication, security and logistics, between others.
One of the highlights of Ficosa’s showcase was the third generation of the Smart Connectivity Module (SCM) at the MWC, a solution that turns the car into a self-connective device providing all passengers with simultaneous and independent connectivity.
“The Smart Connectivity Module completely revolutionizes the in-vehicle experience, improving driving, increasing safety and efficiency, and giving users an unprecedented range of services and smart applications,” said Javier Pujol, CEO of Ficosa. “It is a great step towards the driverless car, integrating the vehicle into the communication networks as a device of the Internet of Things.”
This system offers a secure connection for communications inside and outside the car, and for communication between vehicles (V2V) and with infrastructure (V2I). The SCM provides up to 9 simultaneous internet connections for the vehicle and passengers to watch movies, listen to music, play online games, tune in high-definition radio and download and store contents. It also provides important features to improve safety, such as the automatic emergency call, the geolocation of the vehicle, the speed control, the assistance service or the management of the dangerous areas and those with limited visibility in order to avoid accidents.
The new generation of this system includes important improvements like the FOTA service (Firmware Upgrade Over-the-Air), which allows the vehicle’s software to be updated without having to connect it to any physical device, incorporates a high grade of cybersecurity and is much more compact than its previous versions, providing a better integration of the connectivity platform to the vehicle and being visually imperceptible, says the company.
The Smart Connectivity Module introduces in one single device a variety of wireless telephony technologies, such as LTE, WIFI, Bluetooth, AM and FM, DAB and GNSS positioning for each specific market and the mandatory emergency call in Europe (eCall) and Russia (ERA-GLONASS).
Ficosa says it also is working to be at the forefront of vehicle connectivity development and 5G technology. An example of this is that it has recently become the first Spanish company to join the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA). The mission of this association is to accelerate development, standardization and marketing of solutions for connected cars and autonomous vehicles and their integration into Smart Cities, as well as laying the groundwork for implementing 5G technology in the automotive sector.
Joan Palacin, advanced communications business unit director, noted, “The development and implementation of 5G technology will be a new revolution in the telecommunications and automotive sector, as it will offer higher capacity connections and will boost solutions and services based on virtual reality and artificial intelligence. In Ficosa, we always look to the future and new technologies, collaborating with the main ecosystem companies in the definition of the new services of mobility and autonomous driving.”
Ficosa and Panasonic, working together to make the car of the future a reality
Ficosa also has been working on connectivity systems for the automotive industry for more than 10 years in order to anticipate the needs of automobile manufacturers (OEM). The company is focused on connectivity platforms with integrated antennas (SCM), telematics control units (TCU) and vehicle-infrastructure technology (V2X), which allows vehicles to connect to communication networks, other vehicles and infrastructure.
Ficosa’s alliance with Panasonic, which responds to the goal of both companies of increasing their technological capabilities and integrating complementary technologies, offers a great potential for them to lead together the transformation of the automobile in the field of connectivity. In that sense, Ficosa’s units, together with Panasonic’s information and entertainment systems, will provide the user a wide range of new services with high added value.