In-car Video Streaming

Dec 29, 2020 | Trends

The world is overwhelmingly connected than ever. Moreover, evolutions in connectivity yet to come will stimulate more innovation in a wide range of domains, and vehicle industry is definitely one of them. More and more vehicles get connected to the Internet and expansion and advance of connectivity technology make possible consuming a sizable amount of streaming data in the in-car environment. Electrification, autonomous driving, and car-sharing models would all contribute to the increase in such a demand to spend more time in vehicles. Yet, these trends require a decade or so to become fully functional. We see that in the near future, connected cars and enhanced connectivity will be the main factors that increase the amount of time spent to consume content in vehicle.

It goes without saying that people have gotten accustomed to being connected every time and everywhere. Their vehicles won’t be an exception. People don’t want to lose the context of what they are streaming even if they’re getting out of the car and engage in the streaming elsewhere or vice versa. This also implies that each passenger seek more personalized experience per passenger basis.

Experience matters

More screen time in the vehicle then leads to a shift in the passenger expectation of their streaming experience. Seamless, passenger friendly, and personalized are the ones that define this shift.

seamless experience

Passengers, and drivers alike, want seamless access to media sources regardless whether they are in the vehicle or not. Suppose you are streaming some content on the way drive home. If you haven’t finished them yet upon arrival, you will probably want to continue on the content in your house as well. This can happen in an opposite way; your children were watching an education program and they are getting in the car to go to school or care center. It’s obvious that cross-device streaming eventually takes place in all such cases and ensured connectivity must be provided. The vehicle’s IVI system has to deal with this kind of not-in-the-vehicle and in-car context switch in a holistic way. webOS Auto, LG’s automotive infotainment platform, makes this context switch available by synchronizing TV and vehicle data so that data from one source can be mirrored to another one.

consumer friendly experience

Passengers want consumer friendly video experiences such as user friendly UI, content caching, and service aggregation. Voice assistants facilitates easy control of UI. If the IVI platform carries multiple voice interfaces, carmakers can choose among them that best suit their technical needs. In case of webOS Auto, the platform supports LG’s own AI assistant as well as other notable voice interfaces, e.g. Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Content caching is beneficial when the vehicle is going into a network shadow such as tunnel. As is the case in most streaming services, webOS Auto’s media buffer prefetches a certain of data to serve streaming content to be played. Service aggregation enables multiple services across various service types to be used immediately without a huge engineering effort. webOS Auto provides service aggregation solutions that pre-aggregate streaming content and services so that their immediate use can be easily achieved.

personalized experience

Display of graphical content on any number of screens is desired. Each passenger seek their own personal experience. When they ride together in a vehicle, one sole streaming won’t satisfy them all. This necessitates individual streaming on each display screen. Personal profile management helps managing each passenger’s preferences and usage patterns. webOS Auto allows multiple instances of web apps to be run on a multi-display environment so that displays can serve different streaming services individually. webOS Auto’s multi-display coverage includes but not limited to rear seat displays and head unit display and content sharing among displays are also supported.

Reshape the future of your automotive business with

webOS Auto

webOS Auto is an out-of-the-box in-vehicle infotainment platform that allows effortless adoption and guarantees seamless user experience.

Would brought-in devices replace in-car embedded displays?

Most passengers already possess their own mobile phones and tablets. Equipped with a strong network capability and convenient as being carried by all the time, brought-in devices of passengers seem to be a good and reasonable option to stream media sources while in the vehicle. Some carmakers and service providers have initiated such development that allow streaming video content on brought-in devices by utilizing the vehicle’s cellular modem.

Then what about vehicle’s IVI displays? Would those brought-in devices eventually get rid of in-car displays? Definitely BYODs (Bring Your Own Devices) have their role in in-car streaming most notably for their convenience. Nonetheless, IVI systems still hold advantages in some aspects. IVI system offers better UI/UX in the in-car environment than brought-in device. Passengers travelling in the vehicle would like to have time for entertainment while they’re moving and their demands are quite challenging – 4k resolution screen, digital 7.1 sound, and per passenger display. When it comes to video conferencing and screen share, in-car embedded wide screens are obviously preferred. This kind of experience and corresponding UI/UX can only be achieved with a topflight IVI system. Connectivity of the vehicles also improve the chances that passengers can enjoy streaming services in better quality with the vehicle’s own IVI system than smart devices that passengers are hand-carrying.


In the coming world where enhanced connectivity and expansion of improved network coverage enables more screen time in the vehicle, better-than-home experience is called for as far as in-car streaming is concerned. As McKinsey reports predict1) that subscription services alone could create an estimate of $15 billion to 20 billion revenue pool for personalized infotainment such as streaming video and gaming experience, in-car streaming gains more attention than ever. Carmakers can get hold of this unique business opportunity with the IVI platform that fulfills the first class service requirements for passenger entertainment. By adopting webOS Auto to leverage its full-scale in-car streaming capabilities, carmakers can fulfill such high level of satisfaction in their production models with minimum effort.

If you are looking for external sources to get reference for in-car streaming trends in IVI, we recommend Strategy Analytics’ recent report on in-car video usage scenarios. This report2) analyzes how key players in this technology domain lead the in-car streaming trends in their businesses. It emphasizes that technology advances such as vehicle connectivity, OTA (Over-The-Air) feature, and EV (Electric Vehicle) charging time increase screen time to consume streaming content. Its author points out that the widespread existence of vehicle cellular modem and powerful infotainment platform are the key components that realize in-car video streaming services. LG’s webOS Auto is introduced as one of the automotive streaming video platforms that enable in-car streaming trend in this report.

1) McKinsey Global Institute, Connected World: An evolution in connectivity beyond the 5G revolution, 2020

2) Strategy Analytics, In-Car Video – Electrification Changes Usage Scenarios, 2020

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