MUNICH, Germany Operating systems manufacturer QNX has demonstrated a digital virtual cockpit for automotive use, based on its Neutrino real-time operating system and the QNX Aviage HMI suite.
The instrument cluster is powered by a Freescale MPC5121e multicore processor. In brings software technologies developed for the PC world to the automotive world making use of the graphical possibilities of Adobe Flash and OpenGL ES.
Digital instrument clusters are aiming at improving the automotive HMI; at the same time they contribute to design flexibility. They can integrate simulated conventional instruments such as speedometer, tachometer, or fuel gauge with digital displays of any kind, for instance, navigation display, lane departure warning or a copy of the cell phone display. In contrast to conventional instruments, they can be reconfigured on-the-fly: If the driver, for instance, goes into reverse, the speedometer can be replaced by the image of a rear-view camera.
"The instrument cluster is the last part of the in-car electronics landscape that changes from the analog to the digital world," said QNX Director of Worldwide Automotive Sales, Andrew Poliak. "While MP3 players and other consumer devices interact with the instrument cluster, this specific application cannot be emulated on a consumer operating system. Being an essential component of automotive electronics, instrument clusters need to act and react immediately and consistently at any time. This requires true real-time operating systems."