With the first presentation of UMTS services in a moving car, the cooperation partners DaimlerChrysler, Siemens, Sun Microsystems, T-Mobile, Jentro and MBDS/Nice University Sophia Antipolis are celebrating a world premiere in Berlin.
In a specially fitted Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the partners demonstrate a comprehensive portfolio of multimedia services which have become possible through the use of the broadband UMTS mobile phone standard. Contents are transferred into the test vehicle at an average transmission rate of 128 kBit/s.
UMTS allows a maximum bandwidth in the vehicle of 384 kBit/s, up to six times ISDN speed. The future vision of live video and music downloads, video telephony and an ingenious off-board navigation system, which uses up-to-data cartographic data via UMTS for destination finding, has become reality today.
With the first live operation of UMTS services in the vehicle, the six partners demonstrate the potential of this radio standard. With the corresponding network availability in several years it will help mobile data services make the breakthrough for business applications, mobility services as well as entertainment and information offers with video support. With the future availability of a direct mobile link to company networks, UMTS will be able to establish itself quickly, particularly in the business application area. The experience and test results of the UMTS car premiere underline the innovation leadership of the partners in their respective industry and support them in establishing their UMTS business model and in developing UMTS service offers of the future in line with the market.
DaimlerChrysler equipped the UMTS test vehicle with the appropriate operating units and monitors and the link to the car infrastructure and the specification of the UMTS services. "With the UMTS test vehicle we are creating today the necessary expertise to satisfy the demand of our customers for mobile UMTS services of the future", said Dr. Hans-Joachim Schopf, Senior Vice President Development Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars & smart.
T-Mobile provides the UMTS network and together with Siemens IC Mobile established the UMTS infrastructure in the test radio network in Berlin. Timotheus Huttges, Chairman of the management board of T-Mobile Deutschland: "The solution presented today impressively demonstrates the variety of future UMTS applications. From telematics services to entertainment, mobile multimedia solutions will soon be a fixed part of a wide variety of everyday situations."
The Siemens division Information and Communication Mobile (IC Mobile) supplies the entire technology for the UMTS radio network and participates in the development and implementation of the UMTS applications for the test vehicle. "Worldwide Siemens IC Mobile is one of the three leading suppliers for UMTS infrastructure. With this partnership in the automobile sector, we are also in the vanguard in this area and show that UMTS can have very versatile uses", commented Lothar Pauly, Board Member of the Information and Communication Mobile Group.
With JentroCar the Munich based Jentro AG supplies the central technology platform for networking and controlling the incar functions and services. The company is also responsible for the development of the user interface. The Jentro solution is based on Java technology from Sun Microsystems, who provide the backend server for holding the contents (portals, WWW, video streams, games etc.). Dr. Helmut Wilke, Managing Director of Sun Microsystems Germany and Austria: "Sun's vision of having intelligent service available anywhere and anytime is impressively demonstrated with the UMTS test vehicle. Java technology supplies the necessary flexible basis which is secure for the future." MBDS/University Nice Sophia Antipolis developed the prototypes of mobile Internet applications for the UMTS standard.
The UMTS services in the test vehicle cover a broad range of mobility and infotainment services. In addition to a live video conference with any remote partner, there is also a video monitoring system, access to traffic observation cameras and a wide range of entertainment, such as video films and a multi-player game. Also offered are news services, an electronic office as well as broadband access to the Mercedes-Benz portal and the internet. The offboard navigation system includes ample information, in part with video support, on interesting spots in the vicinity.
The UMTS S-Class is a pure test vehicle and was equipped especially for this purpose with in-car PCs, with two flip-up 15-inch TFT monitors recessed into the seat backs and wireless keyboards for the use of the UMTS services in the rear. In a user-friendly way via an inbuilt touchscreen monitor the driver and front seat passenger can access services such as a navigation and traffic observation camera, which switches off automatically above a speed of 6 km/h for safety reasons. The operating elements, user interfaces and interaction processes in the test vehicle were developed exclusively for the demonstration of the possible UMTS services. They do not correspond with the requirements of a future UMTS solution for series production. Here DaimlerChrysler attaches the highest level of priority to mature technology and an optimum design of the Man-Machine-Interface (MMI) to rule out any distraction of the driver.