Last night’s Silicon Valley Automotive Open Source Group “Meetup” featured Kerry Johnson of QNX. QNX provides embedded, real-time, operating systems and has many automotive manufacturers as clients.
This was a very informative talk and lively interactive session. Kerry shared his observations on the challenges of bringing consumer technology (think iPhone, Android, etc. and their associated apps and user interfaces) into the automotive environment.
For automotive manufacturers,
- Delivery dates of key components are not flexible! (The consumer technology suppliers slip dates all the time.)
- The government requires that replacement parts for automobiles be available for ten years! (Who has a ten year old phone?)
- Cars require fast boot up from a complete power off.
- Control over look and feel is a very important part of automobile design and functionality (as it is for most of the smart phone and tablets manufacturers).
- Driver distraction is an important issue.
Kerry also commented on the state of the art of graphics chips, noting that they are designed with gaming in mind, not security in mind. Automotive manufacturers require designed-in security.
Thanks to Grom Audio, a developer of after market electronics, for hosting the meeting, and the Meetup organizers, Peter and Robert. (Alison is overseas.)