I can see this as being a very advantageous approach to auto electronics. I'd like to see interchangeable hardware as well. With OS standards and hardware standards, long-term maintenance of electronified vehicles could potentially become financially viable.
These days, if the computer dies on your ten-year-old car, the repair bill will likely exceed the value of the car. If a future modular computer died, the repair shop could buy any standard part, upload the correct parameter table into flash and send you on your way.
Some folks would maintain that doing this would not be possible because each and every part in a car is engineered for maximum space, function and integration efficiency. That a standard computer would do everything so-so and nothing well. I would maintain that there are examples of other standard devices in cars that have specific parameters adapted to the application.
There are a lot of varieties of batteries, tires and lights, but no where near as many batteries, tires and lights as there are different vehicle models. A standard computer could have even fewer varieties due to its programmability. That leaves the mechanical constraints, with doesn't seem to be a problem with standard batteries and such.
THis is a very interesting (and ambitious) approach to providing media functionality in cars of varying degrees. The standard Smartphone now makes music, navigation, and hands free phone available to the motorist in varying degrees of sophistication. This ranges from a bluetooth bridge to a direct dock. Should motor and drive train computing should be separate from any entertainment? One could make an argument either way. It will be interesting to see where things go...
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.