Auton, Inc., the developer of a new mobile broadband solution for connected cars, and WatchTV, an owner and operator of broadcast internet facilities, today jointly announced the successful testing of Auton’s connected car technology as part of its ongoing development efforts to deploy a new nationwide broadband mobile data network. The trial is significant as it demonstrates an effective, secure and more cost-effective solution for delivery of essential software updates and infotainment to the connected and autonomous vehicle market.
The trial was performed in downtown Portland, Ore. and surrounding areas, including Lake Oswego, Saint Helens, Ore. and Kalama, Wash., and confirmed Auton’s ability to deliver mobile video streaming content and broadband data to moving vehicles in a wide range of environments.
This field testing of the new NextGenTV mobile network included monitoring the quality of internet hosted streaming video in high-speed highways, hills, valleys, forested areas, dense urban, suburban and rural environments. The test demonstrated the utility, efficiency, signal quality and the unique capabilities and advantages provided by the new FCC authorized broadcast internet services that will enhance the public’s access to mobile broadband services.
“The growing demands for secure wireless broadband connectivity to the connected car and autonomous vehicle market is growing exponentially,” said Robert Foster, Auton’s president and CEO. “We’re leveraging the massive efficiency of one-to-all broadcasting to deliver a significant cost advantage to our hybrid network that enhances all forms of mobile wireless connectivity solutions including cellular, WiFi and satellite communications.”
Auton is pioneering the use of NextGen TV (ATSC 3.0) technology to provide mobile broadcast internet services. Auton accomplished this with an IP multicast of the complete ATSC 3.0 protocol stack, originating in a Seattle data center and sent over the internet to the broadcast tower. The ATSC 3.0 multicast was received by Auton’s telematics control unit (“TCU”), the in-vehicle appliance that includes the ATSC 3.0 receiver, LTE, WiFi, GPS, and the company’s patented security overlay that uses the Iridium® satellite constellation.
Auton has partnered with the Iridium global satellite network to fully secure its heterogenous wireless network with a completely out-of-band cyber key exchange capability, ensuring military-grade security for all forms of wireless communications systems.
Greg Herman, WatchTV CEO commented, “As an early licensed ATSC 3.0 facility, we have strived to leverage this powerful one-to-many distribution asset to demonstrate and promote the new and enhanced capabilities of NextGen TV for delivery of mobile and fixed services with unprecedented efficiency and performance.”
The testing was coordinated in cooperation with several broadcast internet vendor partners, including Iridium, Broadpeak, KenCast, Enensys, Triveni Digital, Dektec, Digital Fortress and Anywave. These partners supplied a range of systems and services to enhance the Auton ATSC 3.0 broadcast data solution that was provided by WatchTV.
Auton is an entirely new approach to mobile broadband services. High-definition entertainment is cached on a nearly unlimited basis or delivered live for a fraction of the cost of traditional LTE cellular, and with a viewing quality comparable to watching TV in the living room. The Auton service is ubiquitous, global and continuous – the very definition of “connected car.” In addition to its ultra-low cost, Auton’s unique approach to data encryption provides auto manufacturers with military-grade security for delivery of critical vehicle software updates, saving car owners and manufacturers the expense of multiple trips to the dealership for software updates.
WatchTV is a pioneering ATSC 3.0 broadcaster with its primary operations in the state of Oregon. Prior to receiving its three permanent NextGen authorizations, WatchTV operated four experimental ATSC 3.0 equipped stations and also tested the performance enhancements provided by Distributed Transmission Systems (“DTS”) over its multichannel Portland facilities. These experimental activities were undertaken in 2017 and proved that ATSC 3.0 technology significantly enhances both a TV station’s coverage and its mobile service capabilities. WatchTV continues to innovate with respect to the transformation of the LPTV industry with its active participation in the development of the new Broadcast Internet service as authorized by the FCC’s Report and Order in December 2020.