Linux is everywhere. It is use in home electronics, smart phones, and, of course, computers. But, one place you probably didn’t think of Linux living is sitting in your driveway right now: Your car.
The Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) group’s membership is a who’s who of car manufacturers. This includes: Mazda. Suzuki, Honda, Nissan, Ford, and the world’s largest automobile company: Toyota.
You don’t think of car manufacturers as software companies, but with rise of smartcars with their infotainment systems and self-driving functionality, that’s exactly what they’re becoming.High-end technology will help us ensure that the AGL infotainment platform is user-friendly and can be customized to meet the diverse needs of drivers.
The AGL is already well on its way to delivering state-of-the-art infotainment systems. The group recently released AGL Unified Code Base (UCB) 3.0.UCB’s goal is to provide 70 to 80 percent of a car’s infotainment production system. This enables automakers and suppliers to focus their resources on customizing the other 20 to 30 percent to meet their unique customer needs. As part of UCB 3.0, AGL is also releasing a software development kit (SDK).
AGL UCB 3.0’s new features include:-
- New home screen and window manager
- Improved application framework and application launcher
- Reference applications including media player, tuner, navigation, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, HVAC control, audio mixer and vehicle controls
- Integration with simultaneous display on instrument cluster
- Smart Device Link for mobile phone integration
- Rear view camera and rear seat entertainment.
- Wide range of hardware board support including Renesas, Qualcomm, Intel, Texas Instrument, NXP, and Raspberry Pi
Looking ahead, although initially focused on infotainment, AGL plans to support heads up display, telematics/connected car, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), functional safety, and autonomous driving.
The AGL isn’t the only group working to integrate Linux and cars. The newly minted SmartDeviceLink (SDL) Consortium, which includes Ford, Toyota, Mazda, and Suzuki, is working on Linux-based open-source software for getting smartphones and cars to work together. The SDL already has other open-source competition: Android Auto.
At CES, Google and Fiat-Chrysler are showing off Android Automotive in a Chrysler 300 sedan. Android Auto is just a way to integrate smartphones and automobiles. Android Automotive, and its supporting organization, the Open Automotive Alliance, uses Android 7.0, as the foundation for smartcars. Its supporters include Accura, Audi, Cadillac, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, and a host of other car manufacturers.
In short, there’s considerable differences on how auto companies will use Linux in their cars. But almost all major car manufacturers agree that, one way or the other, they will be using Linux in their cars.