Meet Altia at Car.HMI Europe 2024

Altia, a leading provider of GUI development tools and software solutions, will join premier automotive OEMs and solution providers at Car.HMI Europe 2024. This event, which offers attendees powerful opportunities to network with other industry leaders and learn about latest automotive trends, innovations and challenges, will be at the Hotel Titanic Chaussee in Berlin, Germany on June 26-28, 2024.

The Altia team will be at the event to showcase our complete cockpit HMI platform that helps automotive OEMs and Tier 1s design, develop and deploy first-class embedded displays for any application and any hardware. We look forward to connecting with HMI experts at the show to discuss how Altia’s software solutions can help bring their digital cockpit experience to life. We also look forward to sharing more about Altia’s latest product, the Altia Plugin for Figma. This plugin, now available at no cost for current users of Altia Design 13.4, gives designers the power to get their Figma graphics to embedded hardware easily and with the lowest possible memory requirements.

If you will be at the show, please stop by and see us at the showcase to see Altia’s production-proven software running on automotive-grade hardware. Meet with our team to talk about how to design functional safety and first-class UX for your cockpit displays.

We look forward to seeing you in Berlin!

Event Details:

When: Wednesday, June 26 – Friday, June 28, 2024
Where: Hotel Titanic Chausee – Chausseestraße 30, 10115 Berlin, Germany
Register: Home | Car.HMI Europe (car-hmi.com)
Connect with us before the show: [email protected]

Figma Plugin is Now Freely Available for Altia GUI Software Users

Altia announces the release of Altia Exporter for Figma. This new plugin gives designers the power to get their Figma graphics to embedded hardware easily and with the lowest possible memory requirements. Available today on the Figma community, current users of Altia Design 13.4 and above can now use the Altia Exporter at no extra cost.

This new product further extends Altia’s flexibility to leverage artwork from industry-leading tools to include Figma. With Altia Exporter for Figma, designers save time and effort because they can import Figma assets to the Altia toolchain and begin designing their GUI without any need to rebuild, rename or restructure the original components. Leveraging Altia’s powerful features like Stamp Object, developers can easily optimize their Figma designs for embedded hardware—saving precious memory while delivering best performance on chip.

“Companies around the world count on Altia to deliver highly efficient, production-ready code that is true to their artists’ concepts. With the new Altia Exporter for Figma, we continue to empower designers to create in the tools that they want while giving developers the power to select the embedded hardware they want and get the best looking, best performing UI and UX to market,” stated Mike Juran, Altia CEO.

The Altia Exporter for Figma is available today at no cost to Altia GUI software users (version 13.4 and above) on the Figma Community. For more information or to request a demo of this new product, visit altia.com/get-started or email [email protected].

About Altia

Altia is a software company that provides graphical user interface design and development tools that can be used from concept to final production code. Our GUI editor, Altia Design, offers development teams the capability to implement a model-based development process enabling clear team communication and accelerated user interface development. Our code generator, Altia DeepScreen, supports a vast range of low- to high-powered processors from a variety of industry-leading silicon providers. Altia generates pure C source code that is optimized to take full advantage of hardware resources. Graphics code generated by Altia is driving millions of displays worldwide – from automotive instrument clusters, HUDs and radios to thermostats, washing machines and medical devices.

Our mission is to get the best automotive, medical and consumer interfaces into production in the shortest time on the lowest cost hardware.

Altia was founded in 1991. Its customers include automotive OEMs and Tier 1s like Continental Automotive, Denso, Stellantis, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Honda, Renault, Magneti Marelli, Nippon Seiki, Valeo, Visteon and more – plus leading consumer device manufacturers like Electrolux, Whirlpool, NordicTrack and many others.

For more information about Altia, visit www.altia.com or email [email protected].

RWTH Aachen University Leverages Altia for ADAS, Autonomous and Software-Defined Vehicle HMI Research

Altia proudly announces our collaboration with the Institute for Automotive Engineering of RWTH Aachen University. The Aachen team is using Altia’s graphical user interface software for the development and deployment of a remote interaction automotive cockpit concept with an A-pillar-to-A-pillar screen.

Cockpit screens are increasing in size from generation to generation. As this evolution takes place, new concepts—like the black background head-up display featured by Continental Automotive at IAA Mobility 2023—are moving the automotive display surfaces further away from the driver and passenger. To interact with the growing displays the Aachen researchers hypothesize that an alternative to direct touch, which is currently the main interaction modality in today’s vehicles, is required for future vehicle concepts. This will be especially true for autonomous vehicles according to SAE L4, at which level the vehicle takes over responsibility and the human can turn to entertaining and distracting functions. The research team therefore is investigating remote interaction as one promising solution for automotive displays of the future.

This project, led by Research Associates Thomas Lennartz, Tobias Oetermann and Lena Wirtz, aims to develop an optimal remote interaction concept. To do so, the team is taking a close look at the drivers in their study, attempting to answer these questions.

  • How distracting is their remote interaction concept?
  • Is their remote interaction model intuitive or does it require driver and passenger training?
  • What alternatives would drivers and passengers prefer for a remote interaction concept?

Altia’s HMI development software enables the RWTH Aachen University research team to apply a human-centered design process for developing their HMI concepts—and do so with advanced graphics capabilities. To this end, a project designed in rapid prototyping software was translated into Altia Design and deployed to target hardware. Altia’s model-based development process gives developers the capability to create user interfaces with assets from popular graphics software packages, perform user testing with their GUIs then quickly tweak to achieve a user experience that is safe, simple and user-focused.

“The Institute for Automotive Engineering of RWTH Aachen University is one of Europe’s leading automotive engineering institutions—collaborating with leading automotive companies and research institutes, such as BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, Bosch, Fraunhofer and others. This is the university that graduates the men and women who will lead innovation at German automotive OEMs for years to come,” stated Armin Koelker, Altia Europe GmbH Sales Director EMEA. “Altia is proud to contribute our technology to this important research, while offering experience with our software for future German automotive innovators.”

“The RWTH Aachen University research team came up to speed quickly and achieved an impressive fully integrated cockpit in a short time. This speaks to the user-friendliness of Altia’s GUI development software and the genius of the members of the research team,” praised Philipp Michel, Senior Solutions Architect for Altia Europe GmbH. “We are honored and excited to continue to collaborate with them.”

About Altia

Altia is a software company that provides graphical user interface design and development tools that can be used from concept to final product code. Our GUI editor, Altia Design, offers development teams the capability to implement a model-based development process for clear communication and accelerated user interface development. Our code generator, Altia DeepScreen, supports a vast range of low- to high-powered processors from a variety of industry-leading silicon providers. Altia generates pure C source code that is optimized to take full advantage of hardware resources. Graphics code generated by Altia is driving millions of displays worldwide – from automotive instrument clusters, HUDs and radios to thermostats, washing machines and healthcare monitors. Our mission is to get the best automotivemedical and consumer interfaces into production in the shortest time on the lowest cost hardware.

Altia was founded in 1991. Its customers include automotive OEMs and Tier 1s like Continental Automotive, Denso, Stellantis, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Honda, Renault, Magneti Marelli, Nippon Seiki, Valeo, Visteon and more – plus leading consumer device manufacturers like Electrolux, Whirlpool, NordicTrack and many others.

For more information about Altia, visit www.altia.com or email [email protected].

Follow Altia on LinkedInTwitter and YouTube.

Altia Achieves ASPICE Level 2 for Automotive Industry Standard HMI Development Software

Altia announced today that its HMI development software has achieved Automotive SPICE® (ISO/IEC 33061, formerly ISO/IEC 15504) Level 2. This achievement highlights Altia’s commitment to providing world-class automotive software capabilities and processes. Specifically, ASPICE Level 2 provides OEMs and Tier 1s with the confidence to leverage Altia’s software in mission-critical display applications for the automotive cockpit.

“Altia is committed to providing our customers with industry-proven, high-performing, innovative automotive platforms—and our ASPICE Level 2 achievement reflects that commitment,” said Michael Hill, Vice President of Engineering at Altia. “We are proud to receive this prestigious distinction—and we look forward to continuing to deliver on that commitment.”

Automotive SPICE, Software Process Improvement and Capability dEtermination, was developed to address the software development needs of the automotive industry. To achieve this status, Altia was required to meet strict requirements, including having:

  • A defined and documented software development process that covers the entire software development lifecycle, from requirements management to software testing and maintenance.
  • A management process that ensures the planning, monitoring and control of our software development activities and resources.
  • A trained and competent staff able to perform the software development tasks according to the defined process.
  • A quality assurance process that evaluates the quality of our software products and processes and identifies and resolves any issues or defects.
  • A configuration management process that manages the changes and versions of our software products and artifacts.
  • A verification and validation process that ensures that our software products meet the specified requirements and expectations of our customers and stakeholders.

These requirements are based on the Process Assessment Model (PAM) of ASPICE, which defines a set of guidelines and criteria for assessing the capability level of software development processes in the automotive industry. More information about the PAM can be found in this link.

The ASPICE Level 2 assessment was conducted by members of the Continental Automotive Systems teams from Europe and North America. Altia successfully achieved ASPICE Level 2 on November 21, 2023.

“Broadly applying the lessons learned on the journey to ASPICE Level 2 certification facilitates the development and release of exceptional software on a predictable cadence,” says Mike Morgan, Director of Product Delivery.

About Altia

Altia is a software company that provides graphical user interface design and development tools that can be used from concept to final product code. Our GUI editor, Altia Design, offers development teams the capability to implement a model-based development process for clear communication and accelerated user interface development. Our code generator, Altia DeepScreen, supports a vast range of low- to high-powered processors from a variety of industry-leading silicon providers. Altia generates pure C source code that is optimized to take full advantage of hardware resources. Graphics code generated by Altia is driving millions of displays worldwide – from automotive instrument clusters, HUDs and radios to thermostats, washing machines and healthcare monitors. Our mission is to get the best automotivemedical and consumer interfaces into production in the shortest time on the lowest cost hardware.

Altia was founded in 1991. Its customers include automotive OEMs and Tier 1s like Continental Automotive, Denso, Stellantis, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Honda, Renault, Magneti Marelli, Nippon Seiki, Valeo, Visteon and more – plus leading consumer device manufacturers like Electrolux, Whirlpool, NordicTrack and many others.

For more information about Altia, visit www.altia.com or email [email protected].

Follow Altia on LinkedInTwitter and YouTube.

Altia Joins SOAFEE to Drive Innovation for Future Software-Defined Vehicles

Altia, the automotive industry leader in cockpit HMI software solutions, has joined the Scalable Open Architecture for Embedded Edge (SOAFEE) special interest group. With production-proven expertise in cockpit HMI software for connected vehicles and functional safety solutions for mission-critical systems, Altia will strengthen the group’s software ecosystem as it continues to define a software architecture and reference software framework for the vehicles of the future.

Founded by Arm, a world-leading semiconductor IP company, SOAFEE is an industry-led collaboration between companies across the automotive and technology sectors. The organization aims to address the challenge of increasing complexity in vehicle software for software-defined vehicles (SDVs) of the future by creating a unified and scalable automotive software development architecture. Based on cloud-native technologies, SOAFEE enables the entire automotive software development process (system architecture, application development and deployment and functional testing) to be performed in the cloud, by simulating the automotive software development environment and abstracting the underlying hardware. This allows most of the functional verification to be done in advance, significantly reducing the cost of development and maintenance of the whole automotive software system, as well as benefiting all enterprises and users in the supply chain. The SOAFFEE project is being conducted in collaboration with automotive industry leaders from companies including Continental, Volkswagen CARIAD, Amazon Web Services and BOSCH.

“We are delighted to join SOAFEE. Altia will share our expertise in both automotive and IoT industries with SOAFEE and work together with all members to create leading software architecture and reference software framework to empower the automotive industry,” said Jason Williamson, VP of Marketing at Altia.

About Altia

Altia is a software company that provides graphical user interface design and development tools that can be used from concept to final product code. Our GUI editor, Altia Design, offers development teams the capability to implement a model-based development process for clear communication and accelerated user interface development. Our code generator, Altia DeepScreen, supports a vast range of low- to high-powered processors from a variety of industry-leading silicon providers. Altia generates pure C source code that is optimized to take full advantage of hardware resources. Graphics code generated by Altia is driving millions of displays worldwide – from automotive instrument clusters, HUDs and radios to thermostats, washing machines and healthcare monitors. Our mission is to get the best automotivemedical and consumer interfaces into production in the shortest time on the lowest cost hardware.

Altia was founded in 1991. Its customers include automotive OEMs and Tier 1s like Continental Automotive, Denso, Stellantis, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Honda, Renault, Magneti Marelli, Nippon Seiki, Valeo, Visteon and more – plus leading consumer device manufacturers like Electrolux, Whirlpool, NordicTrack and many others.

For more information about Altia, visit www.altia.com or email [email protected].

Follow Altia on LinkedInTwitter and YouTube.

Altia: The Complete HMI Platform for Automotive Cockpit Displays

As the automotive industry moves closer and closer to fully autonomous, even lower end vehicles are evolving into rolling computers—with ever-increasing interconnectivity and complexity in the vehicle cockpit. Car buyers now expect to be connected to the outside world—and OEMs are responding to their requirements. It is estimated that by 2030, 95% of all new vehicles will incorporate intermediate or advanced infotainment, telematics and V2X capabilities to communicate between vehicles, users and infrastructure.

With these dramatic shifts in technologies from more mechanical and analog controls to those that are partially or fully digital, automotive OEMs are challenged with anticipating how customers interact with their vehicles, namely through the human-machine interface (HMI).

The HMI acts as a hub of the wheel for the vehicle cockpit’s connected user experience, integrating the spokes that provide information to the driver while sending commands to the various systems both inside and outside the car. The considerable shift toward electrification and autonomous vehicles has resulted in new regulatory requirements. These requirements have compelled OEMs and suppliers to invest more R&D into user interface hardware and software lifecycles and integration, whether their digital cockpits include a multitude of dedicated displays in a single vehicle to just a single in-dash touchscreen.

But the simplicity of a well-architected UI masks great complexity. Cockpit software design includes many considerations, such as how to integrate multiple compute domains and vehicle applications across varying operating systems. Customers have grown accustomed to smartphones being at their side—so how can OEMs keep them connected to their communication and entertainment while adhering to regulations for driver safety and attention? How can OEMs maintain brand continuity between native HMI screens, multiple connectivity solutions and those of the passengers’ personal devices? This is a complex challenge encompassing a vast number of varying requirements, especially given the increase in autonomy. OEMs can embrace these challenges by leveraging a production-proven platform to bring this all together efficiently.

Meeting OEM Challenges with Proven Innovation

Altia delivers a single, comprehensive platform to meet OEM’s cockpit software challenges and the needs and expectations of their customers. They provide a complete end-to-end cockpit software solution for OEMs by combining the best design tools, advanced technology, customization capabilities and expertise within one unified platform.

Altia has helped some of the largest OEMs create custom HMIs in various vehicles as well as develop and deploy their entire software stack—from sedans, SUVs, semis and motorcycles to electric construction-agriculture equipment and everything in between. The integration of Altia’s powerful features and hardware flexibility in over 100 million production vehicles on the road have been shaping the industry. Altia’s software solution is at the heart of over 375 vehicle dashboards for the upcoming generation.

A Comprehensive Collection of Tools and Expert Service

Altia’s cockpit software platform sets the standard for designing, developing and deploying innovative, first-class automotive user experience. The platform enables display design and deployment on any screen within a car, including instrument clusters, HUDs, infotainment displays, passenger displays and rear passenger entertainment systems. No matter how grand and challenging your vision is, Altia can enable a seamless look and feel in your vehicle cockpits to provide an immersive experience that is representative of the brands across your fleet of vehicles. By reusing the core of your work, Altia enables you to keep design cost-efficient while enabling endless opportunities to differentiate. Providing the tools and expert support you need to bring your UI from concept to production quickly and efficiently, Altia’s HMI development platform saves time and reduces production costs.

Altia Advantages for Automotive

  • Hypervisor operations — HMI cockpit operates on both sides of your hypervisor
  • Code generation — Quick conversion of HMI prototypes and graphics to deployable graphics code across a wide range of hardware
  • Integration and display management — Guidance on how to manage and integrate cockpit real estate to create cohesive and intuitive signature UIs for customers while maintaining brand identity
  • Head-up display expertise — Best-in-class HUDs integration to show system information and advanced driver-assist system (ADAS) warnings to keep drivers’ eyes on the road
  • Automated testing solutions — Reduction in time-to-market HMI testing costs, minimizes human error

Integrations

Altia’s cockpit HMI platform can seamlessly integrate the following services and applications into your displays:

  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Third-party mapping programs
  • ADAS
  • Media players
  • Telematics units
  • Automotive infrastructure integrations via Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X)

Altia Software Tools and Services Support Every Step of Your HMI Process

With the increasing complexity in the automotive world and increasing demand for OEMs to pull user experience and data ownership in-house, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with an approach to managing it all. Altia is here to bring all the pieces together and help OEMs to realize their automotive user experience goals. Altia guides OEMs through designing, developing and deploying their custom automotive cockpits.

Altia’s complete automotive software platform supports every step of the development process, from concept design through delivery. Altia automotive solutions enable OEMs to meet their digital cockpit goals today and in the future. Altia understands these system complexities and has the proven tools to help you with your automotive software challenges.

Ready to start your automotive cockpit development journey? Altia delivers the expertise, software and services to guide you throughout the process to meet your needs and realize your goals. We would love to hear about your project and how we can help you get it on the road.

Visit www.altia.com/get-started.

Collaboration Improves Designer-Supplier Process and Final Product

“I want a blue line between these sections,” says the UX designer. Into the spec doc it goes: “add a blue line between these sections to improve UI.” It seems simple enough until several stakeholders and contributors interact with the little blue line at different times in the product development process.

“Will it be sky blue or royal blue?” asks marketing. “Should we make it dotted, dashed or solid?” The team agrees that a dotted, royal blue line is best.

With the internal back and forth resolved, it’s the supplier’s turn to ask for design clarifications. “The resolution of our hardware makes dotted lines look fuzzy unless they’re at least five pixels thick, and the line gets distorted at the bezel if it extends to the edge of the screen.”

Now it’s back to internal discussions. Marketing lobbies for hardware with better graphics to bring the original vision to life. Procurement wants to know if there are savings to be had by using a solid black line. The supplier offers a friendly reminder that this iteration isn’t accounted for by the original contract, so now might be the time to renegotiate.

When this collaboration nightmare becomes more like a recurring dream, it burns resources, delays time to market and ultimately shows in the quality of the product. A streamlined process for product development must clarify communication between stakeholders.

Designer to Supplier – Where’s the Disconnect?

Collaborative frustrations can yield feelings of tension every time there’s a handoff of information or responsibility: especially from designer to engineer and engineer to supplier. The real problem isn’t the other teams but the gap in collaboration that separates the teams. Written spec docs become like one long game of telephone:

  • The market demands features.
  • The designer ideates.
  • The engineer implements a technical plan.
  • The supplier executes the plan to deliver a product.

Stakeholders work at different physical locations, often sharing information about visual designs in a text-based format. The finer details get lost in translation until something as simple as a blue line can get blown out of proportion.

Model-Based Development, Functional Specs and Clear Collaboration

Model-based development gets product designers and engineers on the same page. Advancing from written spec docs to model-based graphical user interface (GUI) development solutions eliminates ambiguity, clarifies requirements and reduces rounds of back and forth. Functional specs—in the form of GUI models—replace written spec documents, so everyone is looking at the same blue line. It’s right where it belongs: between the two relevant sections on the GUI model.

Everybody benefits from not having to discuss the blue line ad nauseam.

Rapid prototyping of GUI models accelerates iterative design among internal teams. Stakeholders in various physical locations can collaborate with tight feedback loops. Usability testing can start earlier in the design process, which eliminates supplier-side iterations down the line. Innovative processes for software design, requirement development and code generation create a ripple effect throughout the entire product development lifecycle.

Software Requirements and Hardware Selection

Model-based development yields GUI models which become functional specs to show what the design will look like once implemented. When the engineers can see exactly how the blue line is supposed to look, they can determine which hardware is required to get the right look.

If a design will only look good in high definition, the supplier should expect to use premium hardware that will perform as expected. For simple GUIs that don’t require a lot of fine detail, the supplier should know to use the budget chipsets instead of trying to upcharge for anything unnecessarily advanced.

Bringing implementation closer to the design phase prevents unforeseen problems at the deadline. If a high-end human-machine interface (HMI) design is likely to strain the hardware’s memory and bandwidth, it’s better to find a solution earlier. For example, a low-power code solution can help prevent memory and bandwidth constraints from becoming problematic.

Internal vs. External Iterations

Even with streamlined collaboration, occasional conversations about blue lines and related topics might be unavoidable. The good news is that those conversations can be brief and conclusive instead of confusing and ongoing. Internal stakeholders quickly align around a functional spec in their internal meetings. Once everything has been accounted for in a fully functional spec, the design is set and ready to go to the supplier.

With this process, any external iterations will be implementation-specific and unrelated to redesign. Delivering a turnkey design to suppliers saves them time and resources—all they have to do is execute a design that has every detail accounted for in the model. This is how products get to market as designed, on budget, and ahead of schedule.

Next Steps: Improving Collaboration to Build Better Products Faster

Model-based human-machine interface design helps designers express their visions clearly. Engineers can see the design, so they know exactly what is required in the technical implementation. Suppliers receive a functional model instead of written instructions and even have clear guidance about how to select the appropriate hardware to execute the final product.

A truly comprehensive collaboration solution offers a string of tools to cover the entire product development process. For example, a GUI editor combined with a code generator creates one collaboration suite to take a project from beginning to end. Nothing gets lost in translation.

Investing in the collaboration workflow can save a project, but the benefits don’t end with that one project. Hyundai took complete control of its embedded display design to make future innovation more efficient, too. Gaining control of the collaborative process pays off in every product development project, especially when working with new suppliers to advance previous work.

Getting Started with Altia

Altia’s graphical user interface design and development environment is built to function holistically, with the GUI editor and code generator working in concert. The combination of these two functions is what closes communication gaps between stakeholders. To ease the transition, Altia’s service team helps bridge knowledge gaps to get the initial project to market on time and under budget.

If your GUI project is already underway but perhaps headed in the wrong direction, all is not lost. The Altia Design Jumpstart Bundle includes the development tools and support required to give your GUI a lift off the ground. Get started today, and let’s make it to market the right way.

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