Enhanced support for in-car multimedia for Japanese market

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Connected media and multiscreen developer Access Europe has added enhancement to its NetFront Browser BML Edition for cars, which extends support from embedded operating systems such as Linux and QNX to Android. The company notes that Broadcast Markup Language (BML) is essential for delivering interactive and TV services to cars in Japan.

Access says that according to a recent market analysis of Japanese automotive sales figures for 2019, approximately 5.2 million cars were sold, with European premium brands among the most successful. The Japanese market has high expectations for interactive services and in-car TV applications in premium vehicles, and a key component is the need for BML. This will continue even as some automotive manufacturers move to Android as their next-generation in-car platform.

Neale Foster, CEO of Access Europe, commented, “The in-car entertainment market is full of potential for OEMs who are keen to uncover new aftersales revenues in data-powered services. The NetFront Browser BML Edition for cars is built on our deep local market knowledge through being a subsidiary of a Japanese company with a long history in delivering software services to Japan’s consumers. We remove the headaches for OEMs needing to build those all-important customer relationships in one of the biggest automotive markets in the world today.”

TV services for automotive in Japan are provided by terrestrial or antenna TV-based ISDB-T (Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting). This standard, which requires a BML browser for display, is also present in a number of South American countries and the Philippines. It facilitates the delivery of services containing news, sports, weather forecasts or emergency warnings such as early warning for earthquakes.

Access Europe’s NetFront Browser BML Edition supports the ARIB standards that OEMs need, including STD-B10, STD-B21, STD-B24, TR-B14 A Profile, TR-B15 and ARIB-DC, as well as HTTP, HTTPS, XHTML and other components with BML extensions such as ECMAScript, DOM and CSS. By making the solution available for Android, Access enables OEMs to support BML in legacy and new head units for the Japanese market.

Additionally, Access highlights that an accompanying conformance test suite, which is available from The Association for Promotion of Advanced Broadcasting Services (A-PAB), is entirely in Japanese and consists of almost 6,000 test cases, many of which need to be completed manually. It claims its long-standing experience in executing these tests means that OEMs can be confident that their vehicles will provide access to the services expected by Japanese consumers.

“Having a knowledgeable partner with a proven BML solution, that is experienced in the automotive industry and the Japanese broadcast world, removes a big headache for car manufacturers exporting to Japan,” concluded Foster.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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