Special Coverage

Convergence

DETROIT – The Media Oriented Systems Transport cooperation is in the process of rolling out its MOST150 technology, which uses a single plastic fiber-optic cable to transmit multiple audio, video and data signals throughout a vehicle.

When paired with MOST 3.0, which provides a set of codes allowing all devices on the cable to “speak” to one another, MOST150 allows for a common architecture to be used by auto makers and suppliers, says Henry Muyshondt, MOST technical liaison.

“MOST is now coming out with its third generation, running at 150 megabytes per second,” he tells Ward's at the Convergence Transportation Electronics Conference here. “This third generation of MOST adds an Ethernet channel. You can run up to 18 standard-definition video streams, plus three high-definition video screens, plus an Ethernet channel, all in parallel.”

The MOST cooperation was founded in 1998 by BMW AG, Daimler AG and a handful of key suppliers in order to standardize the hardware utilized by in-vehicle infotainment systems.

Once the hardware was commonized, MOST turned its attention to developing a common set of system codes.

“Initially, (auto makers) just wanted the physical connection.” Muyshondt says. “But as they were developing that they said it would be better if we standardized the language to get higher volumes, more support and more people who know how to deal with it.

“Now when we go from one car to another we don't have to change anything. We can just add a module onto the network for whatever the latest and greatest (technology) is.”

Today, MOST has become the infotainment “backbone” of the auto industry, Muyshondt says.

Although MOST began as proprietary technology, its founders decided it would be advantageous to open the technology up to other companies.

“There was no advantage for this to be proprietary,” Muyshondt says.

MOST has grown to include 16 auto makers – including German, European and Korean manufacturers – and more than 75 suppliers around the world.

While the majority of global auto makers count themselves as a member of MOST, some have yet to utilize the system and the common set of codes.

“The Detroit Big Three and Honda (Motor Co. Ltd.) are members, but they haven't implemented the systems yet,” Muyshondt says. “It's already pretty well expanded around the world, and the U.S. is the last step in getting everybody on board.”

The MOST architecture could be adapted for automotive technologies outside the infotainment realm, as well.

“MOST is very well suited for moving continuous streams of data,” Muyshondt says. “So it could be used for cameras for safety and lane-departure systems, as well as rear-view and night vision. Those (applications) are all being looked at very seriously.”

bpope@wardsauto.com