Monday, March 2, 2009

Auto Industry goes OPEN today, VROOM VROOM VROOM

With today's announcement another industry goes OPEN, the automotive industry announced GENIVI alliance. Its a non-profit organization committed to driving the development and broad adoption of an open source In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) reference technology platform. Early partners include BMW, Delphi, GM, Intel, Peugeot, Visteon, Wind River and Magneti Marelli have already joined but its open to any open source automotive, consumer electronics, communications and application development company.

I love the press release today, it was jam packed with interesting tidbits of how open source will help the ailing automotive industry compete better in these hard economic times.

“GENIVI will challenge the traditional approach of proprietary solutions and spawn a level of creativity not yet seen in this segment,” said Graham Smethurst, GENIVI spokesperson and BMW Group General Manager, Infotainment and Communication Systems. “Collaborating on a common reference platform in non-differentiating areas of the architecture will allow GENIVI members to focus on the development and integration of innovative customer functionality.”

“The automotive business needs to improve its efficiency continuously through open competition and the avoidance of unnecessary rework on mature technologies, which is especially true in this current economic environment,” said Gerulf Kinkelin, PSA Innovation Area Manager. “We firmly believe that GENIVI is the right forum to put in place as it will drive business efficiency through an open environment and foster a rich ecosystem that will likely go far beyond what we can imagine today.”"
I've always been a big believer in open standards in autos, GPS is a good example, I have to say it saved my marriage. About 8yrs ago GPS stood for Global Positioning (HOT) Seat in my family car. That's when my wife tells me to go one way and the other way is better, yup many loud discussion about how to get somewhere since, we got something new. Anyway 8yrs ago we got our first GPS or should I say built one using a PDA + GPS, I'll try to upload a picture to show you what saved us on our long road trips, when we didnt have a map. We've since upgraded to a dedicated device, but I just cant wait for what is planned by this new open source auto alliance.

From the press release, GENIVI’s work will result in shortened development cycles, quicker time-to-market, and reduced costs for companies developing IVI equipment and software. GENIVI is headquartered in San Ramon, Calif. First car should have these open system inside by 2011, now that's a business plan you can be proud of presenting in Washington, boys.

So how are you using open source to change your own industry. let me know?

Research Articles:


Edward Kietlinski said...

Here's a case study about FIAT's use of PHP

How FIAT is using PHP and Open Source

Edward Kietlinski said...

C|NET’s own Antuan Goodwin revealed yesterday Ford is looking to build an open source platform for its Sync services, its in-vehicle informatics interface. (Picture from C|NET.)

According to Ford’s Web site, Sync already does things like enable hands-free cell calls, voice-activated playing of your favorite MP3s, and turn-by-turn navigation. On the site Sync is co-branded with Microsoft.

The software can be updated, so when new features emerge, like the ability to create a Vehicle Health Report or call 911 automatically, all Sync users can get an update. Sync has been available since the 2008 model year on a growing number of cars, which now include mid-priced models like the Taurus and Focus as well as pricier models like the Mustang and the Explorer.

Reading between the lines of Antuan’s story, however, it seemed Ford is a little nervous about this open source idea. The near-death experience of the last few years makes the unthinkable thinkable, but maybe when it comes to open source Ford executives this morning are saying something like, “What were we thinking?”

To me, this looks like a job for the open source community. You, in other words.

What should open source be doing in a car? What would you do that Sync isn’t doing now? How should an open source community focused on automotive features be managed? And what features should be off-limits to the open source community?

Have a good weekend. Take a drive.