At the MOST Forum in Frankfurt, the first OEMs announced roll-out time lines for the latest version of the MOST infotainment bus. The Volkswagen group plans to integrate the fast data bus in Audi's A3 volume vehicle in 2012. Daimler pursuits a different strategy, planning to start with its flagship S-class models in 2013.
In his presentation, Daimler's telematics executive Peter Häußermann provided an overview over the MOST150 maturity status at the luxury car maker. The company's requirements for the next-generation infotainment system data bus included support for internet-based services including enhanced video, further integration of consumer electronics devices, harmonized communication links and multi-seat capabilities as well as support for split view displays. All these requirements result in the need of a very high bandwidth and low latency times, he said.
Bandwidth drivers are HD audio (7.1 surround) supporting several domains such as digital radio and internet radio reception; video streaming to several displays and the "huge amount of bulk data caused by consumer device integration and internet applications", Häußermann said.
At the same time, any next-generation data bus would have to maintain the features of the MOST25 system currently used in most of Daimler's product line. Costs per node had to be at a similar level as MOST25. Häußermann added that MOST150 met all these requirements.
According to Häußermann's status report for MOST150, the infotainment bus has passed all performance and stability evaluations. The wire harness can be reused completely, and bug fixing is currently in the final stage. "MOST15 is ready for mass production", Häußermann summed up.
His colleague at Audi, Stephan Esch, provided a similar summary. According to Esch, the migration from MOST25 to MOST150 will dramatically reduce the bandwidth utilization in the in-car infotainment network: While today's infotainment applications demand 95 percent of MOST25's bandwidth, only 14 percent of a MOST150 system's bandwidth will be utilized by the same applications.
At Audi - the first company