WASHINGTON An automotive electronics industry alliance announced this week will seek to drive adoption of an open-source car infotainment platform by reducing development cost and time.
The Genivi Alliance unveiled on Monday (March 2) includes auto makers BMW, General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroen along with parts suppliers Magneti Marelli and Visteon Corp. along with Intel Corp. and Wind River. The founding members said they will collaborate to create the Genivi platform, which is billed as a common software architecture scalable across different product lines and versions.
The Alliance said its primary goal is to reduce development time and cost. It also claims its platform will allow car makers to more quickly deliver new infotainment features by synching their production schedule with the life cycle of consumer electronics.
The goal isto "get the car industry to agree on a common set of requirements" for infotainment systems, said Joel Hoffman, Intel's strategic market development manager and a spokesman for the Alliance.
Among the issues to be tackled by the non-profit, pre-competitive organization is the current disconnect between auto makers and electronics suppliers. The result, Hoffman said, is millions in wasted development dollars. By agreeing on a common platform, members hope to drive down development costs, field new infotainment systems sooner while at the same time expanding the market for new auto electronics.
Hoffman called the effort a "sort of preservation strategy" for embattled car makers that would expand the market for new in-car services by lowering costs.
Intel will use the development alliance to boost automotive applications for its Atom processor. The chip maker has so far met with BMW to discuss Atom-based applications.
In June, the group expects to release its first open-source reference implementation running on the Linux-based Moblin software platform, Hoffman said in an interview. The reference platform will be used to drive commonality, consistent application-programming interfaces and the use of open-source software.
The group is not attempting to develop a new operating system for car entertainment systems, Hoffman added.
Alliance executives said Genivi membership could expand to about 100 member companies over the next 12 months. Hoffman said the group has contacted other Asian car makers about participating. Meanwhile, current members will form working groups on issues like implementation of FlexRay data networking.
It is also working out licensing mechanisms such as whether open-source systems should be made widely available or only to Genivi members.
The group will develop specifications for in-car entertainment systems, but will not attempt to develop standards, Hoffman added.