“There’s a push to basically now tie it into the vehicle so that it can provide differentiated infotainment in a more deeply integrated way,” said Ashok Divakaran, connected and autonomous vehicles leader for Deloitte. “Take, Amazon Fire [TV for Auto], for example. When you integrate Fire in a deep way into the functioning of the vehicle, you can then do things that … a mobile phone or an iPad … cannot.”
From more immersive technology to a growing variety of content offerings, practically every automaker has either debuted or is developing technology that expands the boundaries of in-vehicle entertainment.
BMW’s Theatre Screen and My Mode Theatre, unveiled at CES in January, has a cinematic theater screen that moves out of the headliner to give passengers an immersive in-vehicle viewing experience. When activated, the system, which features Amazon Fire TV for Auto integration, is accompanied by an acoustic experience created by film composer and Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer.
The cinematic viewing experience, which BMW said will be available in future models, features a 31-inch diagonal panorama screen display with 8K resolution, immersive audio and acoustics, and loungelike rear seats.
Nate Pinsley, manager of BMW’s Digital Products and Services division, said engineers who worked on Theatre Screen and My Mode Theatre were challenged to create an in-car experience that exceeds a home theater.
“It reinforces BMW’s commitment to bring customers access to the entertainment landscapes they already enjoy outside the car, and the belief that there are opportunities to create entertainment experiences far beyond what smartphones and tablets are capable of,” Pinsley told Automotive News via email.