Car Computing To Go Open Source?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
car computing to go open source

The ever-increasing technological sophistication of cars is fast becoming a pet peeve of home mechanics and car tinkerers. But Linux Insider reports that the open-source operating system may just find a new home in automotive applications, improving the at-home tweakability of production vehicles. Open-source technology guru David Schlesinger: "The increasing value of [open-source software] will result in greater use of open-source software in automotive systems, largely in … communications, navigation and the like." This development could replace proprietary operating systems with a single open-source, Linux-based OS which could control everything from engine management to on-board navigation and computing. But we're not quite there yet. While Linux offers immediate options for on-board computing, it still needs to be optimized to handle real-time tasks like engine control. Still, the manufacturers' desire for broader management of services in cars and consumer's desire for greater tweakability may just add up to an open-source future for the industry.

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  • Z31 Z31 on Mar 14, 2008
    Busbodger : Does anyone buy German cars so they can tweak the myriad of details like dome light delays and so on? People don't buy German cars for iDrive, and the like? Intruiging...

  • BigOldChryslers BigOldChryslers on Mar 14, 2008

    I built and tested two of the 8-bit Megasquirt boards, but never got around to getting the rest of the pieces together to install one. B&G made an upgrade board with a 16-bit micro that would plug right into the socket for the 8-bit micro. They also integrated ignition control into the system.

  • Esldude Esldude on Mar 14, 2008

    Oh, we aren't necessarily talking back yard DIY engine management. There will be a few guys who really know the stuff or who work with programmers that will knock out some stuff as good as you can get. In time as more people learn of it they can work together building on each others abilities. That is the magic of open source. So many can contribute whatever they have to offer. And the results are there for all to use. Also anyone who hasn't tried one of the better desktop Linux OS's in the last couple years may not realize how far along it has come in usability. It lacks little that Windows has and offers a number of things on the desktop that Windows does not. I am using Linux to post this reply. If open source engine management gets off the ground it would be a tremendous benefit to people owning cars. It likely would make for much more reliable systems in cars too.

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Mar 15, 2008

    iDrive: I'd like to see some stats on how many people really set all those details... griN! Sort of like cell phones and other gadgets. Cool to have all those options for a little while but the tinkering gets old...