Rarely do you get the chance to pop open the hood of your vehicle’s infotainment system. There are a lot of names out there who create OEM hardware. Such as Harman, Fujitsu Ten, Bosch, Alpine, Denso, Clarion, and Visteon. But then software providers usually have to massage the hardware from the suppliers to the specific vehicle and make the experience great for the end user. One of these providers is QNX. Although the company is a subsidiary of Research in Motion, there is nothing Blackberry 8300 about the software.
Software for the automotive environment has to be foolproof. There can be no blue window screen of death, and the story goes that some at Ford were even skeptical about attaching the Microsoft name to the SYNC system. Even Microsoft has their own automotive software that is developed far away from Windows 8.
But back to QNX…what better way to show off the company’s capabilities than to technify one of the most ancient vehicle platforms today- the venerable Jeep Wrangler.
To modernize the Jeep: Out with the Chrysler UConnect system and in with the HTML 5 system. Ditch the Pentastar gauge cluster for a TFT display version. Have the two screens talk to each other and share data. Add voice command to ask for the nearest diner, drive-in, or dive and then have gauge cluster display the turn arrows.
While some are modifying Jeeps with lift kits and and snorkels, this is the only one I know that contains thousands of hours of computer coding. I wonder if anybody at Willys thought it could ever get this good…
According to QNX:
QNX CAR includes a wide array of QNX technologies: the QNX®Neutrino® RTOS (shipped in the majority of 2011 infotainment systems), a powerful multimedia framework, a superior hands-free solution with HD stereo, HTML5-based HMI technology, and a direct development path from mobile to automotive.
The QNX CAR HTML5-based HMI framework allows the OEM to leverage apps from the consumer electronics space. HTML5 is the only cross-mobile development tool that works with Apple iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows 7, and now the car. To that, we add automotive hardening required for production-crash resiliancy, embedded optimization, and fast booting.