Linux Drives Automotive Innovation into the New Year

jzemlin's picture

With the addition just last week of the Google-led Open Automotive Alliance, nearly every automaker in the world is choosing Linux for technology integration and innovation in the car. This reminds me a lot of the early days of Linux in the enterprise or Linux in mobile. It starts small and accelerates at an exponential rate. It’s one of the unique attributes of Linux.

From Toyota and Nissan to BMW and Jaguar to GM and Honda, among many others, hardly anyone is using anything but Linux to build the technology running inside our cars.This is great news and comes on the heels of two other important milestones for automotive Linux: IHS Automotive recently reported that sales of automotive Linux will overtake Microsoft and Blackberry QNX by 2020, and the Motor Trend car of the year for two years running is using Linux.

The work being done by automakers through collaborative efforts like Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), GENIVI and Open Automotive Alliance together will accelerate the adoption of new technologies in the automotive industry. Linux has proven to accelerate advancements in technology faster than any other platform. Cloud computing, supercomputing and the Linux-based Android platform are some of the best examples. I’d argue that none of these sectors would have seen the fast pace of innovation they’ve witnessed over the last decade if were not for Linux.

Companies rally around Linux because the operating system offers an existing, open platform that is supported by hundreds of thousands of developers and can be customized for a large variety of applications.

The Open Automotive Alliance states it well on its website:

“Automakers will be able to leverage a platform already being used by millions to deliver a familiar and consistent experience to their customers. Taking a platform centric approach enables high quality application development in a way that is purpose built for cars.”

Linux started connecting businesses decades ago with no shortage of skeptics. Today it’s connecting your home and your car, too. I can’t predict the future, but I can tell you that Linux has been on the right side of history all along and that’s a good place to be.