Two years ago, we reported on the debut of the QNX digital instrument cluster. At the time the system was a free-standing demo that showed off the clarity of data presentation to the driver in the reconfigurable digital image portraying an "analog" speedometer and tachometer.
At the Convergence 2010 conference last week in Detroit, QNX's Andy Gryc showed me the most recent iteration, now integrated into a Chevy Corvette. In addition to the speedo/tach driving mode, the cluster features an information mode that can include navigation, weather, or entertainment-system data.
The cluster is built on QNX's CARTM Application Platformfor infotainment. This tool was also used to develop the Corvette's multimedia head unit—which can access mobile device applications, from navigation features to audio sources. As an example, the Terminal Mode (see video below) replicates a smartphone screen in the head unit's display and allowing the HMIs available to the driver (steering wheel buttons, touchscreen, etc.) to control the phone. IPod Touch output can also be controlled.
Hm I have this functionality for my phone on my in car radio for phone functions only, but because it uses bluetooth and its own interface on the car radio it isn't strictly a replication of the phone interface, so if I change phones the UI in the car won't change. That has it's good and bad points, so I'm not ready to commit to this idea on what they've presented alone. I see functions beyond selecting a contact from the phone contacts list to dial, and answering a call as the only "safe" functions while driving, and I'm not sure that's so complicated that you wouldn't deal with a different UI in the car anyway.
Certainly has a cool factor though.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.