Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Transportation Linux

The Rise of Linux In In-Vehicle Infotainment 123

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the open-source-oops-hit-a-deer dept.
DeviceGuru writes "The 2014 Toyota Lexus IS reportedly will be the second major automobile to offer in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems based on Linux, following last year's introduction of the Debian-based Cadillac User Experience (CUE) IVI system, which now appears in Cadillac's XTS and SRX models. Cadillac's CUE IVI implementation was developed by GENIVI Alliance members MontaVista and Bosch and uses similar code, but is not listed as GENIVI compliant. Meanwhile, ABI Research projects that Linux will grow to 20 percent IVI market share by 2018, behind Microsoft and market leader QNX."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Rise of Linux In In-Vehicle Infotainment

Comments Filter:
  • Flashable? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by XanC (644172) on Wednesday July 24, 2013 @04:48PM (#44373999)

    The big question: will I be able to put something else on there? Like what OpenWRT did for routers?

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      I bet they are totally tivoized.
      The last thing car markers want is you to be able to upgrade it. They even use the same systems with midley different software in the options packages.

      Which are of course far overpriced for what you get.

      • Re:Flashable? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by spire3661 (1038968) on Wednesday July 24, 2013 @05:00PM (#44374181) Journal
        I recently bought a new car for the first time. I was PISSED i couldn't get the GPS center console without upgrading to another trim level with a bunch of shitty ground effects, aluminum rims and a spoiler. I even asked about just upgrading after the sale and the dealer was all 'different harnesses, change this blah blah blah."
        • Re:Flashable? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday July 24, 2013 @05:09PM (#44374279)

          I recently had the same experience, made worse by my buying a new old stock car. The higher trim level meant getting a brand new one and a much worse deal. Since they were motivated to sell the old stock more.

          Buying cars sucks and dealers are the problem. I want to just be able to order one built exactly the way I want from the oem and have it shipped to my house. No need to keep but a single car local to me for test drives.

          • by alen (225700)

            most people want to go to a dealer and buy a car on the spot

            toyota used to have a lot of customization, not sure now. i hated it. i wanted something simple but with leather. turns out there were only a few in the NYC area and they had lots of options i didn't want. because the dealers have to guess for their in stock cars

          • Wikispeed [wikispeed.com]

            They have a long way to go, but a modular car with interchangeable engines, bodies, whatever is my dream.

          • by adolf (21054)

            So do you want a deal on new-old stock, or do you a new custom vehicle created just for you and delivered to your house?

            These are somewhat contradictory goals.

            • by h4rr4r (612664)

              I want either one.
              What I do not want is to pay full new car price for a car I did not select each feature on.

              My problem was selecting between new old stock and a new inventory car that had the one feature I wanted and a bunch more added I did not.

              • by adolf (21054)

                OK, then: Let me say that my own preferences are different, but that I agree with you.

                (I want the larger, but not ridiculous, motor and heated leather seats. I want a real manual gearbox with a clutch pedal. I want upgraded HID lighting. And a sunroof. I would prefer a gaping hole in the dash where the stereo should be, and empty spaces where the speakers belong, no air conditioning, and completely manual single-zone heater controls. I want self-dimming mirrors. I want the bigger/wider wheel upgrade,

        • Re:Flashable? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by aitikin (909209) on Wednesday July 24, 2013 @05:34PM (#44374551)

          Yes, but that's what's brought the cost down. Just ask Mulally [wikipedia.org] about it. Unfortunately I cannot find my source on this right now, but I recall an article on this exact topic from a business magazine. In it, Mulally's mother called him nearly crying over the fact that she couldn't decide on a Lincoln that she wanted. There were simply too many options to the point that it truly overwhelmed her.

          They then proceeded to redesign nearly every car they make to be built off of the same basic chassis. This allowed them to mass produce them, more inexpensively, making it more inexpensive to you, the end user, while still allowing them to improve the overall quality of their products. They then made it so there weren't over 100 different options of the same car, not counting paint even, making it so that there was a good chance that the car would be available at your local dealer, which further drove the price down, allowing more mass production (which is what Ford has always been known for).

          Furthermore, most of the time, people who want the GPS center console, want to have that premium leather seating, those aluminum rims that you don't want, the spoiler, and the floor lighting, or at least some combination of more than just 3 of them. Getting just the one, probably less expensive than all 5, but getting 3 of them under the old system would likely get you to the same price point or damned near it.

          Of course, you're here at Slashdot, which means that you think everything should be tweakable and customizable to the extreme, so why not do that on your own? You bought it, so just make it happen. I'm sure that someone out there has done something similar and will give you a fairly straightforward guide. I didn't even get off the lot before I replaced the horn in my hybrid (went from a "meep meep" to a "honk honk").

          For example, a quick Crutchfield search found me 20, in-dash GPS solutions for my 2011 Honda Insight (that does not have Nav built in already). Of course, by the time I will feel the need for an in-dash GPS, I'll probably be buying my next car anyway.

          • Re:Flashable? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by spire3661 (1038968) on Wednesday July 24, 2013 @05:42PM (#44374613) Journal
            IM not blind to the realities of the car market. I grew up in Detroit and worked for Kelley Blue Book in CA. All that said, i wasnt aware of the finer details of trim packages until i went to buy. I was a bit shocked is all.

            I do disagree that GPS (a navigation tool) should be lumped in with leather seats, fancy rims etc. Its seems like its a pretty obvious addon that every car should have a cheap option for. THAT is what bothered me the most, i couldnt get a practical navigation tool without buying a ton of fluff at inordinate expense.
            • by cusco (717999)
              Been that way for a while, and I find it every bit as annoying. I wanted a basic Toyota truckette. I don't need AC, extra trim, etc., and really didn't want to pay for it. We were going to adopt at that time, so I did need the extra cab with the back seat. That ONLY came with the AC, extra trim, rust proofing, etc. Irritating as all heck.
            • Sometimes standalone units are much better. I have a TomTom mobile app on my phone and a builtin GPS. Alot of times I prefer the directions the app gives.
              • by tlhIngan (30335)

                Sometimes standalone units are much better. I have a TomTom mobile app on my phone and a builtin GPS. Alot of times I prefer the directions the app gives.

                Generally standalones are better.

                The only real difference is that If you want a larger screen, yes, the center console one will generally be bigger, neater and all around better looking. But when it comes to using them, the standalones generally fare better (or your phone).

                Firstly, they're far quicker to get map updates and updates tend to be much cheaper

                • by dk20 (914954)
                  I only buy standalone units. I figure they have a life of a few years max but I keep my cars for 10 years. Whenever my GPS pisses me off to much i dispose of the unit and get a newer/faster/etc model. Factor in the dealer option for my car was around $1,200 and it may not cheaper but, i'm also not locked in to a dead model. How many people have "in car" gps units and no map updates or a broken unit? I've heard stories about some in-car units costing more then $100 for a map update (around the cost of a
                • Android tablet as a center console gives you access to OsmAnd [osmand.net], and any relatively recent Garmin unit can easily handle Lambertus' conversions [openstreetmap.nl], both giving you nice, OpenStreetMap maps updated several times a year.
            • This is how cable TV companies work as well.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by shaitand (626655)
              Generally I don't want GPS in a car because the tech had been moving too fast but it might be more reasonable at this point than a year or two ago. But it really annoys me that they group ancient and basic technology in with the high end models.

              Seriously, what possible excuse is there for not having cruise control in literally every consumer car on the market at this point? This is basic car 101 functionality. It's essential for any long drive. I think the functional options should be decoupled from the lux
              • I liked the cruise control on the Hino 268 I drove for the Postal Service: Enter the turnpike, put foot to floor and leave it there, hope truck stays above minimum speed limit while climbing. Sucked balls for actually getting work done, though, when you're delivering to 30 post offices in 15 counties every day.
                • by shaitand (626655)
                  Some cruise controls are better than others. Within a mph or two my car will maintain when climbing.

                  It's really for long trips and not stop and go where cruise matters. Trying to manually maintain speed during a multi-hour drive sucks.
            • by Bert64 (520050)

              Every car does have a cheap option for GPS, it's called aftermarket units like tomtom etc, or even just a stand for your phone these days.

              The problem with many built in gps systems is that auto makers soon stop updating them...

            • by fgouget (925644)

              I do disagree that GPS (a navigation tool) should be lumped in with leather seats, fancy rims etc. Its seems like its a pretty obvious addon that every car should have a cheap option for.

              I pretty much agree with you. However a lot of people are of the opinion that built-in GPS is a rip off because of the price (when it's an option), because of the price of map updates, because the maps never seem to cover foreign countries (or are extra), and because the system gets obsolete and cannot be upgraded. And I can't really say they are wrong. Even more so since my car manufacturer stopped providing any map updates for the built-in 1999 GPS in my car in 2006! And all these people logically decide

        • The smart phones are getting smarter by leaps and bounds, dedicated gps systems with life time map updates are just 100$. The nav package has some minor advantages like muting the car audio, pausing the music, and some easier reach controls. But they nickel and dime you for map updates, and they are way over priced. You are better off not getting them.
        • by rtb61 (674572)

          Just go after market. There are plenty of after market centre console kits and this is by far the cheapest way of upgrading, just like people used to with car stereos eg. http://www.techrific.com.au/car-audio-double-2-din-car-dvd-player-c-132_138.html?osCsid=acaf6863756392ac7f248cf766987a74 [techrific.com.au]

          Don't be surprised when you can readily out do the quality of the top end model all for far less than an additional $10,000 dollars.

        • by guacamole (24270)

          Same story with VW Jetta GLI. Before you can even have the navi option, you need to buy the "Autobahn" package with wheels and various whistles and then the tech package is like $2000 on top of that. Before you know, you're in a 4000 dollar hole, just to have a navi system. Don't let them rob you like that. Get a base model, then bring your suction cup and a Garmin.

          That's a classic example of widely practiced nickel and dimming in the audio industry. In the 90s, you had to buy into a some kind of $2000 "pre

      • by unixisc (2429386)

        Precisely, b'cos if you upgrade it, and it has any side effect on any other part, the car maker would have to eat the damages, or prove that you altered it in order to void the warranty. Just b'cos we can upgrade our routers doesn't mean that that capability ought to exist everywhere. For some things, particularly mission critical things, it's better to be closed source, even if open source is a better dev model.

        For this reason, it makes much more sense for them to be based on QNX

    • by erroneus (253617)

      I want to believe it is cool, but after researching the Parrot series of automotive android systems, I find myself disappointed. You can do a lot better with a Nexus 7 tablet.... cheaper.

      I still kind of want a Parrot car stereo but I know what to expect already. The screen res isn't great and the applications you can use are limited to what they offer at their prices. The Android version is still 2.x. And when I exchanged emails with some of the people there, they insist it's not a computer, it's an aut

      • I want a parrot Bluetooth receiver and steering wheel control, the pretty much very basic one, everything beyond that looked obnoxious. Play pause track skip from wheel, rest from phone, done.

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      On there? How about 'in there'? Unlike car stereos, they have non-standard mounting arrangements. I can't pull out the default setup and upgrade to something with, say, more storage. It's pretty closed box.

    • by tlambert (566799)

      The big question: will I be able to put something else on there? Like what OpenWRT did for routers?

      Not if you want working Netflix, any of the major television networks, or a DVD player.

      You should also be aware that seat-back displays for "infotainment" are OK, but using the in-dask display is only permitted in most states if the vehicle is stopped, in park, and the engine is off. Some states don't allow it even then, although there are plenty of after-market hacks to override this, since they sell exactly the same systems in countries which haven't made it illegal (yet).

    • by lkernan (561783)

      The big question: will I be able to put something else on there? Like what OpenWRT did for routers?

      Not likely, In my new car, Toyota even have protection on the SD card for the maps. Even writing a new file to the card that it wasn't expecting was enough to start warning messages popping up.

    • by tap (18562)
      If enough people want to hack it you can. There is nothing designed to help you flash it, but not a lot was done to actively stop it. The built in reflash system using a USB mass storage device is protected. Uses openssl. I didn't write that part so I don't know the details that well but I have this feeling it could be hacked with only a moderate level of 1337 skillz.

      If you open it up, there is nothing stopping you from reprogramming the flash chips.
  • by AmazingRuss (555076) on Wednesday July 24, 2013 @04:51PM (#44374051)

    ...maybe you're spending too much time in your vehicle.

    • by alen (225700) on Wednesday July 24, 2013 @04:55PM (#44374103)

      try driving for more than 30 minutes with two smallish kids in the car

      • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Wednesday July 24, 2013 @05:16PM (#44374381)

        try driving for more than 30 minutes with two smallish kids in the car

        Just let them out at the next gas station.

      • by iroll (717924)

        Oh, you mean like millions of people (our parents and grandparents and, for some, our great-grandparents) did before video-on-demand at all hours and in all places was a necessity?

        Please, do tell us how we survived those dark ages.

        • by CAIMLAS (41445)

          Even 10 years ago, it wasn't common for parents to drive their kids to school. Now, seemingly everyone does. Thirty years ago, there weren't too many single parent households, and today it's over 50% - which means everyone has to go to daycare in the morning, too.

          We survived those 'dark ages' by not spending hours each day in our cars. The cars were for Dad to get to work while Mom stayed home and the kids walked to school, and for the occasional family outing on the weekend.

          Putting 100k miles on a vehicle

          • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

            Even 10 years ago, it wasn't common for parents to drive their kids to school. Now, seemingly everyone does. Thirty years ago, there weren't too many single parent households, and today it's over 50% - which means everyone has to go to daycare in the morning, too.

            You mean 30 years ago, right? 10 years ago would be 2003. My youngest was born in 1984 and started school in 1989, and we and pretty much all of his classmates drove him to school (and daycare before that). How did we do it without all of today's electronics? Simple, we actually talked to each other back then.

        • They had those stupid car games people bought

      • by dk20 (914954)
        I have three kids, all close together and we have gone for longer trips with them. When they were babies it was tough but as they got older we gave them age appropriate stuff (started with those in-car activity sets, then Nintendo DS for each, now they are older (teens) they do their own thing (DS, talk, music, read). Will be heading to Massachusetts in a few weeks (its a 10 hour drive).
      • by mutube (981006)

        Going to show my age here. But when we went on long holiday trips with my mum as kids (from the UK down to the south of France over a couple of days) she kept us entertained by giving us a couple of pillow cases with random entertainments in it - board games, card games, i-spy quiz things, books, anything. Every hour or so we'd take out something new and that shut us up for a while. Looking now it's a 32hr round-trip managed with 2 stops (one on a Ferry for an hour) each way - and she was doing this by hers

      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

        try driving for more than 30 minutes with two smallish kids in the car

        And how did your parents deal with it? If you need an infotainment center to deal with the kids for a 30 minute trip in the car, there is a bigger problem not being mentioned here.

        • by arth1 (260657)

          I remember long car trips as a kid. Like dawn-to-dusk trips. We sang songs, we talked, my dad invented games - it all went pretty well.

          Today's parents don't want to parent. They expect kindergarten and school to bring up their kids, and electronic devices to keep them out of their face. If you don't have the inclination or resources to engage a kid, wear a rubber.

      • by OverlordQ (264228)

        > try driving for more than 30 minutes with two smallish kids in the car

        If your kids are so ADD they can't survive a 30 minute car ride without having crap shoved into their faces you might want to rethink your parenting.

      • by arth1 (260657)

        try driving for more than 30 minutes with two smallish kids in the car

        Like my parent drove with my brother and I on trips from sunrise to sunset across Europe?
        You're saying you can't be arsed to actually engage your children, and need an electronic nanny to get through as little as 30 minutes? Shame on you.

      • alen, you should return your kids to wherever you got them from. You got defective ones.
        Or you're defective. If you can't handle the kids on a 30 minute drive you need a parenting class.
        Or give up, or maybe you already did.

      • try driving for more than 30 minutes with two smallish kids in the car

        Strange. My parents did this all the time in the 80's when NO cars had IVI.

      • try driving for more than 30 minutes with two smallish kids in the car

        Try actually parenting - teach them to behave, have an attention span >30 seconds, play games with them, etc. My wife has our 2 year old look for trucks. On a long trip (> several hours) we have a tablet (Nubi Jr. with some YouTube videos loaded on it) that we could use if necessary, but even then we try not to if it can be helped.

        Now I'm not saying long trips are not a problem with kids - they are, especially since it is no longer legal to let them out of their car seats for a few minutes without

      • Sounds like a personal problem spurred by poor life choices.
      • by Trogre (513942)

        How about 10 hours? I regularly do this trip with two smallish kids and there's no problems. We talk, often about things out the window, and yes occasionally listen to music.

        Why do we think we're doing kids a favour by stimulating their senses every waking moment?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      So you don't even have an 8 track in yours?

    • by mjwx (966435)

      ...maybe you're spending too much time in your vehicle.

      And definitely not enough time watching the road.

  • Honda is going to have 2014 cars with iOS powered systems that integrate with your iphone. apple said lots of other manufacturers have signed on as well.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by h4rr4r (612664)

      Which is flatly total crap. The system should simply mirror the display of an iphone to the infotainment system. That way when you get a newer device or OS update it also updates. Instead you are stuck with a system that will not get updated nor support.

      We don't need brains in the car, just a simple display system.

      • hey, that useless goddamned 8-track in my classic Mach I is a real status symbol.
        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by h4rr4r (612664)

          Rip that crap out.

          I have no idea why people keep that stuff. This is like the old geezers who keep the ancient engines, skinny tires and crap suspension in otherwise cool cars. Restomod is the way to go folks.

          • When I bought my Z, the owner had the original tape deck, which he gave me with the car. I have seriously considered pulling out the modern stereo and reinstalling the original system. Something about keeping the car in its original condition makes me happy inside.

          • I have no idea why people keep that stuff.

            Now, the world don't move to the beat of just one drum,
            What might be right for you, may not be right for some.
            A man is born, he's a man of means.
            Then along come two, they got nothing but their jeans.

            But they got, Diff'rent Strokes.
            It takes, Diff'rent Strokes.
            It takes, Diff'rent Strokes to move the world.

            Everybody's got a special kind of story
            Everybody finds a way to shine,
            It don't matter that you got not alot
            So what,
            They'll have theirs, and you'll have yours, and I'll have mine.
            And together we'll be fine...

          • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

            Rip that crap out.

            I have no idea why people keep that stuff. This is like the old geezers who keep the ancient engines, skinny tires and crap suspension in otherwise cool cars. Restomod is the way to go folks.

            I think that the classic car auction prices would show that the full restro bring higher prices than a restomod, which would mean that if you want to take a car with modern handling, horsepower, features, then buy a modern car. If you want a classic car, then buy that.

        • by whoever57 (658626)

          hey, that useless goddamned 8-track in my classic Mach I is a real status symbol.

          Some of us cannot install any kind of radio in our positive-ground cars, you insensitive clod! (yes, I know, these days, converters are available, but it's hardly stock).

      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

        We don't need brains in the car, just a simple display system.

        Maybe not, but brains in driver would be a good start. I'm not sure turning a car into a giant iPod is a step in the right direction, but it is a great way to further monetize your services.

      • Which is flatly total crap. The system should simply mirror the display of an iphone to the infotainment system. That way when you get a newer device or OS update it also updates. Instead you are stuck with a system that will not get updated nor support.

        We don't need brains in the car, just a simple display system.

        I disagree. Your suggestion is only useful if either (a) you are the only person who ever drives your car, or (b) everyone who drives your car owns either an iPhone or a smartphone, and also has it on their person at all times.

        If I pop out for a drive somewhere and don't have my phone, the last thing I want is to not be able to have any music playing because my phone is in my other pants.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Honda is going to have 2014 cars with iOS powered systems that integrate with your iphone. apple said lots of other manufacturers have signed on as well.

      Another sign Honda is going down the gurgler.

      Honda used to make good cars. Sports cars like the S2000 and Integra, bulletproof sedans and hatches like the EK Civic (EK Civic VTI-R, 120 KW in a 1000 KG package) and the NSX goes without saying. Now they only produce crap like the modern Civic and Jazz or mum-tanks like the CRV.

      There may be plenty of flaws with the Toyobaru Twins but at least this light, RWD sports coupe shows some out of the box thinking by Subaru and Toyota rather than yet another blan

  • ...titled "QNX and Windows Embedded Automotive Market Share to Drop to 69% with Open Source Linux/GENIVI Grabbing 20% of Automotive OS Shipments by end of 2018," can be found here [abiresearch.com]. Excerpt: "ABI Research forecasts that the number of OEM-installed connected car telematics systems will increase from around 7.8 million at the end of 2012 to 46.8 million units globally by the end of 2018, with Linux/GENIVI platforms accounting for an increasing percentage of shipments during the period. At present, QNX Softwar
  • by QRDeNameland (873957) on Wednesday July 24, 2013 @04:54PM (#44374093)
    Is this the Year of Linux on the Dashboard?
    • by DCFusor (1763438)
      No, that started with the Chevy Volt, at least in my 2012 which of course I got in 2010 - you're late! It has several machines running linux, including the infotainment.
  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Wednesday July 24, 2013 @04:57PM (#44374135)

    It's not Linux if I can't configure it the way *I* want!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Oh no! The power's out!"

    (Cartman voice)
    "Get Bill Gates in here!"

  • I remember reading a consumer reports article a year ago stating these touch screen systems were terrible. That in general it took longer to do simple things and it required you look at the screen when operating. Have they improved at all?
    • My father found some crossword puzzles filled with a jittery handwriting inside the company van. It turned out that his colleague does them on the steering wheel when there is a straight enough road ahead.
  • by sofakingon (610999) * on Wednesday July 24, 2013 @05:13PM (#44374351)
    I went for a test-drive of a pre-production 2014 S Class last week, and to my surprise, the owner's manual came with a loose copy of the LGPL -- in English, no less (everything else was in German.)
  • Please see http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1280095 [eetimes.com] for more information on interesting developments with regards to automotive usages of Audio Video Bridging in Infotainment and control - http://avb.statusbar.com/faq.html [statusbar.com] - typically using Linux.

  • by Doug Otto (2821601) on Wednesday July 24, 2013 @05:17PM (#44374395)
    I'm sorry the current audio track requires unresolved denpendancy: lib.somedamnthing.6.4.29a.so
  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday July 24, 2013 @05:17PM (#44374399) Homepage

    With a clever mount and pogo dock, my Nexus 7 loaded with music, GPS software and OBD2 software are all I need in the car. It's effective and inexpensive. Also, when tethered to my Nexus 4, I get internet too if I need it. All these other in-car things are ridiculously underpowered and over-priced. I hope everyone begins to wake up to the gouging car makers put over on consumers. (Seriously, is a Lexus THAT much better than a Toyota? They use mostly all the same parts!!!)

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Well out with it. Which dock, which mount?

      Lots of Nexus 7s are going to be backup tablets now that the new one is out so I am deeply interested.

      What I want is a mount that fits in the single DIN hole in my Dash and holds the tablet from that.

      • by erroneus (253617)

        It's a work in progress. At the moment, I am using a typical case not unlike the poetic case. When it's open and strapped down, the back side has a hook. So for the moment, I use that to hang it below the console and in front of the drink holders in my Nissan Versa. But there is a single DIN compartment where I am building a device which consists of some thin wood and a couple of strong flat steel rods which I harvested from some office furniture. There will also be mounted some rubber standoffs to ens

  • I was on a Cathay Pacific flight a couple of years ago when the in-flight entertainment system (video on demand, music, games) got stuck. I told the attendant and he said he would reset it. The screen went blank and then showed what was clearly a Linux console boot sequence (complete with penguin logo).
    • by aitikin (909209)
      And in bars. Those silly games that take drunk people's money have been seen running Linux...
  • by SwedishCoward (1838398) on Wednesday July 24, 2013 @05:24PM (#44374469)
    - Regexp search for radio stations
    - Job commute as a cron job
    - vi as default editor
  • I hope my car lasts more than 5 years. I'd like an integrated standard 'external' touch screen and audio. Then I just plug in my phone or pad and I have everything I want. GPS, phone, whatever. In a couple of years when I upgrade my phone, my car is upgraded. And again in a couple more years. And again in a couple more years.
    Then in 6 years I'm using new/updated software with a new 'computer' instead of the ancient crap that they installed for me with vendor lock-in crapware that was never updated bec

    • Here's an idea. Universal mounting points for adding or mounting your own accessories. Stereo/carputer, dvd/video players and screens, cameras etc, etc.

      Something like an automotive version of the rail system on the M4. I really should write this down. Feeding the mayonaisse to the tuna was great!

      I hope my car lasts more than 5 years. I'd like an integrated standard 'external' touch screen and audio. Then I just plug in my phone or pad and I have everything I want. GPS, phone, whatever. In a couple of years when I upgrade my phone, my car is upgraded. And again in a couple more years. And again in a couple more years. Then in 6 years I'm using new/updated software with a new 'computer' instead of the ancient crap that they installed for me with vendor lock-in crapware that was never updated because why bother.

  • by tap (18562) on Wednesday July 24, 2013 @09:44PM (#44376823) Homepage
    It's custom. I should know, as it's largely designed by me. I worked for Delphi who was the OEM that made the radios for GM. They didn't have any Linux experience, so I was hired for this project. They had lots of talented engineers who experience with VxWorks, QNX, uITRON, etc., but not POSIX/Linux. So I got them up to speed on Linux, helped designed the base OS, and made the Linux system work. I was told the Linux based software generated around $2 billion in sales. Then I got laid off.

    It's based on Freescale's LTIB, which I also worked on when I worked for them. But, it's highly customized. Freescale hasn't really maintained LTIB for some time, despite continuing to use it as the base for their BSPs. Something like Debian is much too bloated for what the radios are expected to work it. The same system is used for the simpler non-touch radios in other GM vehicles. It's an ARM9 based iMX25, running at I think 380 MHz, with 32 MB of RAM. The framebuffer comes out of the RAM too. I managed to get it to boot from power on (or rather CAN bus wakeup pulse) through u-boot, through the kernel startup, to system startup and daemons running and have userspace application code start in around 250 ms. Getting the backup camera working in <1 second is an important requirement. The ARM9 as a VIVT cache, which forces a cache flush on each context switch, making it quite slow. If one used udev like a normal Linux distro, it takes something like 3 seconds just for udev to populate /dev on system startup. So obviously udev is out.

    The radios are not designed to let you easily root or put different software on. However, stopping someone who has physical access to the radio from hacking it wasn't a very high priority. By default LTIB gives you a blank password root account and a telnet daemon configured to allow root logins! I got rid of that and made it ssh only. I don't know if the final production firmware still has ssh running or not. The iMX53 processor used in the CUE system doesn't have secure boot like some other iMX processors. Freescale's iMX line is actually composed of multiple utterly different families of ARM based SoCs based on different IP. So you can easily hack it with a flash programmer.

    I don't know of any easter eggs.... GM isn't the kind of company that would look kindly on that. However, unless someone managed to fix it, you can lockup the DVD player with the "Justice League: Starcrossed" DVD a few minutes in. After the alien ship shoots at some jets. It's not the DVD player, but the video overlay on the iMX53 that has locked up.
  • It will be the year of the Linux Dashtop.

"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest." -- Bullwinkle Moose

Working...