Is Auto The Next Android?

Dave Gruber | Open Source Delivers | September 25, 2012

...But the auto industry has a big challenge. While consumer electronics (CE), like smartphones, have development cycles  as short as three months, automotive IVI development cycles are commonly three years or more. This leaves the auto manufacturers  chasing the CE industry, constantly struggling to deliver and keep up. The result: frustrated auto customers. Frustrated in that 1) the same feature set in an automobile costs up to 10x more and 2) as soon as the car is purchased, the feature set is out of date. With over 1 million lines of code required to build the IVI unit, how can the auto industry possible respond?

Ok, I’m sure you’re already thinking that the auto industry needs to get their head around the world of open source to be able to compete with the CE industry. And you are right. To reduce the complexity of the software stack required to run today’s IVI systems, there needs to be a big commitment to leveraging huge amounts of open source and creating standards. Each original equipment manufacturer (OEM) wants to differentiate and offer an IVI experience that outpaces its competition, but losing to the CE industry is an even larger threat. Change needs to occur sooner rather than later.

Just as handset manufactures joined together through the Open Handset Alliance to rally around Android and help it compete with the iPhone, a similar alliance called GENIVI has been created in the auto industry. With over 160 companies already participating, OEMs and their supply chains are joining together to define a common IVI stack that they can leverage to move faster through open source and standards. This will allow more time to be spent higher up in the stack, delivering differentiating choices in dramatically shorter time frames. GENIVI was started in 2009 and has been working hard to organize and lay out an architecture that will support the demanding requirements for IVI....