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Mobile navigation allows map partners to easily display their maps as well as present visual and audio turn-by-turn prompts on the head unit.

Navigation apps have different behavior on the head unit than normal applications. The main differences are:

  • Navigation apps don't use base screen templates. Their main view is the video stream sent from the device.
  • Navigation apps can send audio via a binary stream. This will attenuate the current audio source and should be used for navigation commands.
  • Navigation apps can receive touch events from the video stream.

In order to use SDL's Mobile Navigation feature, the app must have a minimum requirement of Android 4.4 (SDK 19). This is due to using Android's provided video encoder.

Configuring a Module to Stream

In order to view the stream, you need a head unit to connect with that supports streaming. If this is a physical module created by an OEM, such as a Ford TDK, you may need special permissions from that OEM to test streaming. Physical modules often have strict permissions and/or encryption requirements to stream.

The alternative is to stream over TCP to open-source Core. For more details on setting up open-source Core and an HMI, see the Install and Run guide, and to set up video streaming for that Core and HMI, see the Audio and Video Streaming guide. We recommend using the built-in Generic_HMI server streaming instead of GStreamer socket or pipe streaming.

Configuring a Navigation App

The basic connection setup is similar for all apps. Please follow the Integration Basics guide for more information.

In order to create a navigation app an appHMIType of NAVIGATION must be set in the SdlManager's Builder.

The second difference is the ability to call the setSdlSecurity(List<Class<? extends SdlSecurityBase>> secList) method from the SdlManager.Builder if connecting to an implementation of Core that requires secure video and audio streaming. This method requires an array of security libraries, which will extend the SdlSecurityBase class. These security libraries are provided by the OEMs themselves, and will only work for that OEM. There is no general catch-all security library.

SdlManager.Builder builder = new SdlManager.Builder(this, APP_ID, APP_NAME, listener);

Vector<AppHMIType> hmiTypes = new Vector<AppHMIType>();

// Add security managers if Core requires secure video & audio streaming
List<Class<? extends SdlSecurityBase>> secList = new ArrayList<>();
builder.setSdlSecurity(secList, serviceEncryptionListener);

MultiplexTransportConfig mtc = new MultiplexTransportConfig(this, APP_ID, MultiplexTransportConfig.FLAG_MULTI_SECURITY_OFF);

sdlManager = builder.build();

When compiling your app for production, make sure to include all possible OEM security managers that you wish to support.

Keyboard Input

To present a keyboard (such as for searching for navigation destinations), you should use the ScreenManager's keyboard presentation feature. For more information, see the Popup Keyboards guide.

Head units supporting RPC v6.0+ may support navigation-specific subscription buttons for the navigation template. These subscription buttons allow your user to manipulate the map using hard buttons located on car's center console or steering wheel. It is important to support these subscription buttons in order to provide your user with the expected in-car navigation user experience. This is especially true on head units that don't support touch input as there will be no other way for your user to manipulate the map. See Template Subscription Buttons for a list of these navigation buttons.

When to Cancel Your Route

Between your navigation app, other navigation apps, and embedded navigation, only one route should be in progress at a time. To know when the embedded navigation or another navigation app has started a route, create a navigation service and when your service becomes inactive, your app should cancel any active route.

sdlManager.getSystemCapabilityManager().addOnSystemCapabilityListener(SystemCapabilityType.APP_SERVICES, new OnSystemCapabilityListener() {
    public void onCapabilityRetrieved(Object capability) {
        AppServicesCapabilities appServicesCapabilities = (AppServicesCapabilities) capability;
        if (appServicesCapabilities.getAppServices() != null && appServicesCapabilities.getAppServices().size() > 0) {
            for (AppServiceCapability appServiceCapability : appServicesCapabilities.getAppServices()) {
                if (appServiceCapability.getUpdatedAppServiceRecord().getServiceManifest().getServiceName().equals("NAVIGATION_SERVICE_NAME")) {
                    boolean serviceActive = appServiceCapability.getUpdatedAppServiceRecord().getServiceActive();
                    if (!serviceActive) {
                        //Cancel your active route

    public void onError(String info) {
        // Handle Error
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