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Your Car Is About to Go Open Source

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The Android logo.

Automakers hope in-vehicle infotainment systems can be standardized on a Linux-based operating system.

Credit: Google

Automakers are working to standardize a Linux-based operating system for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems that would make cars act more like smartphones.

"Today, automakers are having a hard time getting their customers to buy informatics systems because they only can do 10 percent of what a mobile phone can do," says Linux Foundation's Rudi Streif, who leads the Automotive Grade Linux workgroup. "We're leveraging essentially an $11-billion investment already made in Linux by many other companies including IBM and Intel."

An open source IVI operating system would create a reusable platform made up of core services, middleware, and open application layer interfaces that eliminate the redundant efforts to create separate proprietary systems. IVIs can require up to 40 million lines of programming and are a car's largest software system. One major reason automakers want to adopt open source IVI platforms is because of the cost and complexity of maintaining their own systems over time.

"We'd like to be able to use an existing application on the phone and access it through the user interface," says Reaktor general manager Konsta Hansson. After an industry standard open source IVI is created, researchers can begin developing user interfaces for mobile apps.

From Computerworld
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