Shaping the future of automotive entertainment, navigation and telematics

Tom Blackie, CEO, VNC AutomotiveTom Blackie, CEO,VNC Automotive
Positioned between the car manufactures and the consumer VNC Automotive has established itself as a leader in its sector in just three years. However, its foundations stretch back far further, and so it’s able to look at where in-car technology is headed as well as how to use its know-how in other sectors.

Working across the entire transportation industry, including consumer, commercial, emergency services, as well as mobility, VNC Automotive’s software lies at the heart of countless vehicles’ entertainment, navigation and telematics systems.

A management buyout from RealVNC led to the birth of VNC Automotive in 2018, and since then the company has consistently grown in size and status. Benefitting from over a decade’s experience in delivering cutting edge passenger vehicle systems for entertainment and navigation, its work over the last few years means that its technology is now in approximately 35 million vehicles worldwide.

Founder and CEO Tom Blackie is clear on why the company has flourished since going it alone. “Being wholly focused on one market and anticipating it better has allowed us to move faster and deliver optimised software to customers,” he explains. “It was the right time to establish a new business, and we were expecting a surge in demand. Happily, what we’ve seen has exceeded those expectations, but we think the rate of change is only going to get faster.”

Headquartered in one of the world’s largest technology clusters, in Cambridge UK, VNC Automotive offers an end-to-end service, from proof-of-concept, technology delivery and through into production.
Each project is tailored to the client’s needs but draws upon the company’s expertise of working with the world leading equipment providers and automotive manufacturers.

The company sees its mission as delivering truly brilliant vehicle infotainment, connectivity and telematics software. With its technology deployed across 20 of the world’s largest automotive OEMs, including VW Group, Toyota, Honda, PSA and many more, it develops and supplies software across the automotive ecosystem to equipment suppliers such as Bosch, Panasonic, Clarion, Pioneer and device vendors such as Sony, HTC, LG, and Huawei.

VNC Automotive’s technology enriches the in-vehicle experience for both drivers and passengers. The in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system, head unit display and rear seat entertainment screens can all be used to access smartphone native applications, media and content and, as vehicles become increasingly autonomous, the time spent in transit can be more entertaining and productive than ever before.

Another key application of VNC Automotive’s systems provide a critical service to OEMs and operators of logistical vehicles including trucks, vans and taxis. With live and continuous vehicle data and telematics, its software allows fleet operators to maximise efficiency for priorities such as route mapping, improved fuel economy and pre-emptively identifying maintenance issues to minimise unplanned downtime. Typically embedded by Tier 1 suppliers for major haulage OEMs, either at the start of production or as an aftermarket option, it technology can be simple installed as part of a one-box solution.

Remote connectivity to heavy duty and agricultural vehicles is enabling OEMs to realise several key benefits. Operating in a variety of scenario’s, including isolated farm land or hazardous construction sites, VNC Automotive’s embedded connectivity solutions mean vehicles can be viewed and operated remotely - without drivers and around the clock. Massively boosting productivity and removing risk, this level of autonomy is seen as a way of drastically raising ROI and lowering corporate liability.

Emergency service and law enforcement vehicles benefit greatly from enhanced connectivity, and VNC Automotive works with first responders and Tier 1 suppliers to provide a safe, efficient and connected vehicle environment. Focusing on seamless device integration includes connecting smartphones, tablets and PCs into the IVI system, so that they can be safely stowed, displayed and accessed from the vehicle’s built-in screen. Secure inbound and outbound connectivity is also vital, as it allows access to mission critical systems from the dash and opens the possibility of remote operator support.

One of the emerging trends in the mobility market is ride hailing and car sharing, an area where VNC Automotive has already amassed considerable experience. Its know-how allows vehicle screens to be quickly and easily customised depending who’s on board -enabling drivers and passengers to personalise their in-vehicle experience, access their favourite applications or media for the journey. With tighter restriction expected in cities across the world, aimed at cutting position and congestion, the potential for this technology is truly global.
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