HTC Cello Wants to Be More than an Alternative to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

HTC Cello development 1 photo
Photo: Reddit
The mix of automotive design, cars and software giants is getting more intricate than ever. With Google working on a self-driving car and Android Auto rolling out in select markets around the world, things are getting out of hand. It’s not that we don’t like the software giant’s products but rather that there’s a risk we might end up with a monopoly and nobody wants that.
Alternatives vary from the stock systems offered by automakers these days to Apple CarPlay, the Cupertino-based company’s answer to Google. There’s a new name that apparently also wants to throw its name in the hat, and it hails from Taiwan. That’s right, HTC is working on what they call Cello, which could be an alternative to the previously mentioned systems.

However, according to some info leaked on Reddit, HTC wants to offer more than what CarPlay and Android Auto have right now. Their system should combine night vision, a sonar feature, navigation, GPS and an overall deep-level integration.

Unlike Google’s version that depends on the smartphone you own, this version is being used as the car’s infotainment system on its own, without depending on anything else, any other adjacent device.

Judging by the available info, Cello will be gaining access to the car’s ECU via the CAN bus, using the RS-485 automation system. What you should know about this system is that it is being used in a plethora of other applications, from home automation to aircrafts.

While their intentions do look good, keeping Google and Apple on their toes, it all boils down to the car manufacturers. Unlike the options offered by their rivals that simply show a more familiar face on the car’s screens and are rather limited in functionality, for Cello HTC will need approval from the carmakers.

Access to valuable data and all sorts of info isn’t handed out easily, and they might have a problem in reaching agreements with various manufacturers. Using the CAN bus can be a tricky business, almost risky business for privacy and data management.
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