Automotive Grade Linux
September 21, 2012

Linux Foundation Announces Auto Workgroup For Open-Source Infotainment

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

The Linux Foundation announced on Thursday that it has formed an Automotive Grade Linux Workgroup (AGLW) to help facilitate industry collaboration for automotive device development.

The move could allow the free and open source software movement to gain enough leverage to unseat traditional automotive infotainment silos, which are often the result of automakers´ proprietary approach.

“A major shift is underway in the automotive industry. Carmakers are using new technologies to meet consumer expectations for the same connectivity in cars as what is today the norm in homes and offices,” the nonprofit organization said in its announcement.

By leveraging the $10B collective investment already made in the Linux kernel, and harnessing the technology contributions from the consumer electronics and enterprise software and computing markets, automakers can use Linux and open source technologies to accelerate innovation, the Foundation said.

Carmakers such as Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Toyota have already signed on to the initiative, along with tech companies like Harman, Intel, NEC, NVIDIA, Samsung, and Texas Instruments.

"A community distribution for automotive Linux is essential," said Ken-ichi Murata, Project General Manager, Toyota Motor Corporation.

"There are a core set of requirements specific to the automotive industry, and collaborative development can help meet those needs faster and more efficiently."

The Foundation said the AGLW will work with the Tizen project -- an open source, standards-based software platform within Linux — as the reference distribution optimized for a broad set of automotive applications, such as Instrumentation Cluster to In-Vehicle-Infotainment (IVI), the Foundation said.

The reference platform will use the upstream first policy and support the long lifecycle of cars.

"This workgroup will leverage Tizen to create a Debian or Fedora-like project for the automotive industry," said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation.

"Like those community distributions, the Automotive Grade Linux Workgroup will rapidly feed cutting-edge technologies to automakers and their partners who can build Linux-based products for the newest cars."