The move should reduce cost and development time for auto-based computer systems.
Unbeknownst to many, one of the biggest challenges facing auto manufacturers isn’t something people will see, at least not directly. As technology continues to advance, so do the computer requirements needed for the various safety and infotainment systems that define pretty much every car built after 2010. Toyota’s approach to this problem is to keep it open, as in open-source, Linux-based technology for automotive software.
"It's very necessary to reduce the overhead of duplication work among our suppliers so they can spend more time to create new things rather than maintaining fragmentary codes," said Kenichi Murata, Toyota’s group manager of connected strategy and planning.
By using what’s called Automotive Grade Linux, Toyota looks to simply the development process while also making its systems more compatible to other platforms. Greater compatibility means more customization, and with an open-source system, such customization can be achieved quicker and at a lower cost. Considering computer systems in modern cars often require over 100 million lines of code that can be years in the making, AGL certainly has its benefits.
Toyota’s new Camry in the United States will debut the manufacturer's Linux-based platform for its infotainment system. Several other automakers and suppliers are also involved in the development process, which should further lower costs going forward.
One issue not addressed with the new open-source system is the likelihood of hacking. Considering the current plan relegates the platform to on-board systems that don’t use a remote connection, there probably isn’t cause for concern. As AGL evolves, however, it might be interesting to see what other actions might be necessary to keep prying eyes and idle hands from turning the open-source benefits into liabilities.
Source: Automotive News