Improve Android Phone Bluetooth Connection Time to Infotainment
System with SmartTest Automated Testing

Problem Statement
Project Scope
Meeting the Challenge
The Outcome

Problem Statement

The Automotive Infotainment system has become one of the defining points when a car buyer is making their decision to purchase their next vehicle. The infotainment system is considered to not only be the datacenter for the vehicle, but also the way to deliver safe communications. Automobile manufacturers are eager to set themselves apart from their competition, and the ambition to be best in class is central to their design and implementation process. To accommodate and be part of that effort, Tier 1 infotainment system manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to improve their Bluetooth connectivity and interoperability.

Austin Labs Test Services was employed by one of the top automobile Tier 1 infotainment manufacturers to help measure and improve overall Bluetooth connection times for Android phones. The goal of the project was to measure and improve connection times for making phone calls and streaming audio relative to previous generations capabilities and competitors already instrumented in vehicles on the road today.

Project Scope

In an increasingly competitive environment, the Tier 1 supplier wanted to stay ahead of its competitors ensuring that it would be successful in its bids to vehicle manufacturers. The scope of the work involved comparing the performance of its current infotainment system already in production with infotainment systems in other vehicles. The testing was to create a complete matrix of phone and infotainment connectivity across a wide range of vehicles and infotainment systems currently in the marketplace. These vehicles were tested in both real-world vehicle environments, as well as with bench kits used to validate overall functionality.

Austin Labs Test Services maintains a large interoperability device library of both phones and vehicles providing testing across the widest range of real-world devices. Using the baseline from current devices, the manufacturer wanted to test its latest generation in development and optimize its connection times to enable the driver to make calls or stream audio in the shortest possible time upon entering the vehicle.

Meeting the Challenge


Teledyne LeCroy's Austin Labs Test Services is the leading provider of Interoperability and Consulting services for the Automotive Industry. With world-wide test facilities and headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, Austin Labs Test Services was able to complete the challenge and provide the customer with a full-service solution. The solution required not only an extensive knowledge of testing and interoperability, but also an in-depth knowledge of Bluetooth technology and current vehicle infotainment solutions across a wide range of car makers. As a manufacturer of leading protocol analyzers, and years of experience in testing and consultancy for wireless connectivity, Austin Labs Test Services was in a unique position to assist the manufacturer.

With our expertise we were able to:

  • Create a test plan to capture critical data for performance measurement.
  • Source phones through our internal library of devices and add new phones not available to the public for testing.
  • Report results to the customer displaying connection timings across vehicles and phones showing standard performance as well as outlier results.
  • Retest with latest system updates from supplier to regress failures and validate improvements.
  • Source vehicles and Infotainment kits through internal and external resources.
  • Fully automate testing using SmartTest to perform 1000’s of connect/disconnect scenarios while capturing and analyzing all results.
  • Provide consultation on options for improvement and areas of focus on Bluetooth Stack parameters.
  • Create external facing report for the Tier 1 Infotainment manufacturer to provide their partners to show new generation of performance improvements.

SmartTest Automated Testing Services takes complex testing challenges and simplifies them through smart automation using artificial intelligence and data analytics for analysis and reporting of results. SmartTest offers hundreds of test blocks – collections of actions that can be combined in multiple ways to create thousands of sequences to test:

  • Connection and disconnection
  • Bluetooth pairing and unpairing
  • Phone calls
  • Phonebook
  • Audio and more

The Outcome

The overall goal of the testing was to identify performance issues and improve upon connectivity issues in the new generation of Infotainment capabilities. SmartTest measured an overall improvement of shortening the time for both the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) to stream music (from 30 to 20 seconds, cutting the time by 10 seconds) and the Hands-Free Profile (HFP) to make calls (from 22 to 15 seconds, cutting the time by 7 seconds). These are two key performance metrics in overall audio capabilities of the infotainment system, the Tier 1 Infotainment supplier decreased their times by 1/3.

With Austin Labs Test Services’ knowledge, experience, and expertise the Tier 1 Infotainment supplier was able to show overall improvement as well as competitive analysis of their solution against other solutions that are on the road today. With the increase in overall vehicle satisfaction being measured by Infotainment systems, the improvements have helped increase the vehicle manufacturer’s overall rankings through JD Power. The improved performance has helped the Tier 1 supplier become the preferred solution for major car manufacturers.

connection time graph
Versions indicate manufacturer updates to infotainment system software, with clusters showing improvements to iterative connection tests over time. The connection times upon entering the car went from 30 to 20 seconds for Streaming Music (A2DP) and from 22 to 15 seconds for making calls (HFP), cutting the times down for both by about 1/3.

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