10/27/08

BMW’s Open-Source Electronics

First the internet in a car, and now…

At an automotive electronics forum held last week in Detroit, German automaker BMW announced that they were in the process of developing an open-source platform for the electronics systems in their cars.

Open-platforsystronic-what?

OK, here is what it means… You are familiar with all the newfangled Navigation / Entertainment systems in cars these days. The maker of that vehicle, in this case BMW, is responsible for the software on that system. The idea of an open-source platform will allow third party vendors to develop applications for these infotainment systems, essentially opening up a whole new world of possibilities.

The only thing approaching this idea on the market at the moment is Ford’s collaboration with Microsoft for the software company’s Sync in-car programming.

Open collaboration with other automobile manufacturers was also put on the table by BMW. The thought being to create an industry standard technology for the automakers, thus streamlining the creative process for 3rd party developers. A good idea for all in the long run.

BMW aims to have over 200,000 cars with this system on the road within the next seven years. We look forward to seeing what this technology may bring, but with one concern – will the enthusiast driving experience become too watered down? Just make sure we can leave it off the options list..!

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