Digital convergence, in recent history, has been prevalent in the consumer equipment domain and the design engineers in this area have been struggling with a plethora of emerging standards and protocols. What lessons can we learn from their struggle? The same dilemmas now exist in in-vehicle telematics and infotainment systems but with the added issues of extremes of temperature, safety, security, and time in market.

This paper first describes and positions each emerging in-vehicle standard and their respective strengths and weaknesses. It then explores the designers dilemma: how to build flexible and scalable system architectures which will allow the time in market of telematics platforms match that of the host vehicle while still communicating internally and to other external systems. It then goes on to discuss enabling technologies and how to implement reconfigurable and upgradeable telematics platforms that can be designed for protocols today and in the future.