QNX Software Systems has announced that its CAR Application Platform now supports Freescale Semiconductor's i.MX processors which are used widely in automotive environments.
QNX' pre-integrated support builds on the long-term automotive alliance between both companies, and aims to speed time-to-market for customers creating infotainment systems with sophisticated graphics and connectivity features, the software company said in a press release.
The QNX CAR Application Platform provides automakers and suppliers with pre-assembled reference implementations designed to reduce the risk and cost of building sophisticated in-car infotainment systems. Customers can use QNX CAR to build a variety of applications, including digital instrument clusters, multimedia head units, handsfree systems, connectivity modules, and 3D navigation systems.
Freescale’s automotive i.MX processors are designed for applications that require advanced user interfaces, sophisticated video processing, 2D and 3D graphics, multiple connectivity options, and a high level of system integration. The i.MX processors are designed to enable consumer electronics user experiences and advanced device connectivity in the automotive environment.
QNX has developed a concept vehicle based on its application platform and the Freescale i.MX51 processor to demonstrate how a host of new mobile and cloud-based applications can be integrated into the automobile. In June 2010, the concept vehicle won Best in Show at the Freescale Technology Forum (FTF) Americas in Orlando, Florida. All software components in the car — including the QNX Neutrino RTOS, touchscreen user interfaces, media players, Bluetooth stack, handsfree integration, and a virtual mechanic — are based on QNX CAR and the i.MX51.
Cars that recognized the driver (within certain parameters) existed 15 or so years ago and would set the seat, etc. based on what it recognized (of course not always a correct recognition). Also, cars already have software/hardware intelligent systems but tend to not be overly intrusive and generally we don't realize that many things are being handled by computer instead of mechanically or manually. Manufacturers do have to be concerned about potential liability issues if they attempt to do things such as prevent the driver from speeding as there may be legitimate reasons (emergencies for example) for the driver to exceed the speed limit.
It looks like a good marriage of software and hardware platform, features and support wise. I can't help but hear the voice of HAL in my head when I think of stepping into a car equipped with a software/hardware intelligent system. As I try to speed up (above the legal limit) I hear "I'm sorry Dave, I can't allow you to do that" and then the arguments start with the car. The future of the automotive industry is to continue to provide new and improved user experiences by adding features and easier interfaces. I do look forward to the car that recognizes me and sets everything to my liking (seat, radio, temp, etc.). I am sure it is just around the corner..
It is a very good use of present technologies in automotive applications. Simultaneously it also requires exercise for reducing the cost of the technology of a better CAR. Hope it will not end up with a development of simply a luxury.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.