Your car is about to go open source

By Lucas Mearian • October 9, 2013

Computerworld – Automakers are working to standardize on a Linux-based operating system for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems that would make it easier for cars to act more like smartphones. An IVI is the “black box” that powers a car’s audio and entertainment systems, as well as hands-free phone service and satellite navigation systems. Most IVIs today have touchscreens and can be voice-activated, but many car buyers pass up those options. “Today, automakers are having a hard time getting their customers to buy informatics systems because they only can do 10% of what a mobile phone can do,” said Rudi Streif, who leads the Automotive Grade Linux workgroup for the Linux Foundation. The main reason for the limited functionality of most IVIs is that car manufacturers use proprietary software developed by third-party suppliers to power their infotainment systems, meaning car-based apps are also proprietary. Emerging tech Your car is about to go open source As the digital revolution kills jobs, social unrest will rise Gartner warns of vendor upheaval in technology shift Researchers beef up flash memory with protein Replacing silicon with nanotubes could revolutionize tech New solar cell sets world record, focusing the power of 297 suns Will 3D printing kill IP? NASA targets 3D printing for astronauts, cheap satellites 3D printing techniques will be used to construct buildings, here and in outer space Sweet! Tiny, far-flying robot based on honeybee More: Emerging Tech page Having an open-source IVI operating system would create a reusable platform consisting of core services, middleware and open application layer interfaces that eliminate the redundant efforts to create separate proprietary systems. By developing an open-source platform, carmakers can share upgrades as they arrive. Automakers could then focus on differentiating their infotainment systems through their user interfaces, which only make up about 5% to 10% of the software in the IVIs. [Article]

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