To address the growing Indian Automotive electronics market, Ford Motor has demonstrated its open source platform for automotive electronics named OpenXC at the NASSCOM India Leadership Summit, Ford has demonstrated the potential of open-source application development for the automobile.
OpenXC allows local automotive electronics and software entrepreneurs and businesses to develop equipment software and systems to connect car, mobile phones and the Internet cloud.
OpenXC is a both hardware and software platform developed by Ford Research and Innovation and New York City-based Bug Labs. OpenXC is an API to your car - by installing a small hardware module to read and translate metrics from a car's internal network, the data becomes accessible from most Android applications using the OpenXC library.
Venkatesh Prasad of Ford Motors says "OpenXC allows us to investigate what developers can do when we present the car in the same way as they see a smartphone software platform"
Peter Semmelhack, Founder and CEO of Bug Labs says by connecting cars and trucks to wireless networks, entirely new application categories can be explored - safety, energy efficiency, sharing, entertainment, health - the list goes on.
The hardware module of this platform provides real-time access to parameters like the vehicle sensors, GPS receiver and vehicle speed that can be read by apps while keeping everything isolated from the vehicle control systems.
Ford said it has just started shipping the first OpenXC beta toolkits to universities such as the University of Michigan, MIT and Stanford, as well as initial developer participants, including Weather Underground in the U.S. and HCL Technologies in India.
The app created by HCL that would allow a driver to provide selected personal contacts with an automatic location update during that driver's travels was demonstrated at NASSCOM event. This app by monitoring location and speed information from the vehicle can determine if the driver is running late for a meeting and then send an email or text message notification to other attendees without any input from the driver. This app can also notify the driver's family following a safe arrival after a road trip.
The ranges of applications which can be developed by using this kit is left to the innovator's imagination, the range covers dealing with personal information and entertainment to those who are contributing to a better world - such as directly addressing congestion, and the needs of road safety, healthcare and education.
Wonder what other platform is available from other sources, check out GENIVI's open-source In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) development platform. GENIVI's IVI is supported by software leaders such as WindRiver and automotive companies such as General Motors, BMW, and Bosch. Find more info at www.genivi.org