Fantastic article (ESPECIALLY the diagram), congratulations Junko! This is going to help us greatly in "following the news" when we get announcements about new technologies and alliances in this field. There's still loads of questions, for example it sounds as if Ford's announcement about Blackberry seems to suggest that the underlying OS for their development will be QNX or something a lot like it, then there's open-source Android and maybe iOS itself (or a tailored variant) to the extent Apple decides to license it. Do we know yet if there are others in the lead? Is GM meeting their need for an OS with something that was already underlying their legacy OnStar system, would that be flexible enough for all these new demands, do we have any clues which other brands are already committed to the OSes I already mentioned? Again, fascinating stuff, now we have a roadmap into the development of a whole new generation of mobile connectivity, this should be quite a show!
I'm really surprised that car dashboards are taking this complicated route. It seems like they are in the awkward fledgeling stage that tablets and smart phones were at several years ago. I don't have an optimal solution, but it seems like eventually they'll have to begin to settle into a few more organized systems like the smartphones generally have.
Agreed with you and with Rick's comment about "agnostic." The image I get is of a separate group in the auto companies, frantically looking for that magic app combination to attract the smartphone crowd (who are reportedly not buying cars as previous generations were), while the other designers are busy doing the "real work." Is that just being cynical?
"Real work" would include the interdisciplinary efforts, involving drive trains, aerodynamics, and engine designs, to meet the much more stringent fuel economy mandates being phased in, for example. Not to mention California's zero emissions mandates.
Remember when kids were more interested in hearing about DOHC and hemispherical heads?
@caleb, you wrote: It seems like they are in the awkward fledgeling stage
Exactly. The situation is even worse for the carmakers, though. Because on one hand they want to look cool by associating their brand with whatever the best selling smartphone is, and yet, on the other, they are pulled into too many different directions. (much worse than when tablets and smartphones were at several years ago)
The image I get is of a separate group in the auto companies, frantically looking for that magic app combination to attract the smartphone crowd (who are reportedly not buying cars as previous generations were), while the other designers are busy doing the "real work." Is that just being cynical?
No, you are not being cynical. That's exactly where car OEMs are at today. Things need to settle down, get sorted out -- technically speaking.
I almost hate to say it, but I think an industry standard "Car OS" (based on linux of course), wouldn't be a bad thing at all. There's no reason it couldn't interface fluidly with all the smart phones out there. The reason I think Linux is an obvious winner here is the ability for all the car companies to modify/customize all the bits that don't have to be part of the standard.
Good luck getting them all to agree on an industry standard though. Also, this obviously isn't meant to replace the operational side of the car's computing, only the human interface/amusement side.
Hmmm, kind of wish I'd seen the other article first. Not sure what they're trying to do is all that straightforward, and the premise of apps is they're generally "single-purpose programs with a simple function" but if the consumer gets confused they don't buy if they can't understand whether they're getting the right thing. Seems maybe they ought to start with something more like a "GoToMeeting" (remote "desktop") approach and build from there. The other problem with multiple levels of APIs is experience shows it's not just more complex but nearly impossible to maintain security on a system like that with multiple providers.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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