Open source fuels new apps

Consumer and automotive infotainment specialists have joined forces under the banner of the GENIVI Alliance,

Bringing membership of the newly formed collaborative partnership to 31 recently was XS Embedded, a subsidiary of Harman Becker Automotive Systems, along with KPIT Cummins and Mocean Labs. GENIVI was formed in March this year by a group of automotive majors including the BMW Group, Delphi, GM, Intel, Magneti-Marelli, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Visteon and Wind River.

Its aim is to promote the adoption of an open source platform for use in in-vehicle infotainment or IVI products. GENIVI wants to lead the way by developing a reusable, open source IVI platform based on the LINUX operating system.


According to the California-based alliance, the GENIVI platform is based on a common software architecture that is scalable across product lines and generations. This will accelerate the pace at which new automotive applications are developed and allow new business models to emerge in the in-vehicle infotainment market. GENIVI’s platform consists of LINUX-based core services, middleware, and open application layer interfaces that establish a foundation for automobile OEMs and suppliers on which to add their products and services.

“The continued growth in GENIVI Alliance’s membership underscores the strength in GENIVI’s open source approach to innovation and flexibility in commercialization options. These leading companies will significantly add to the GENIVI platform’s development of the non-differentiating elements of the IVI stack, and expand the commercial offerings available to the IVI industry,” says GENIVI president Graham Smethurst.

Smethurst: GENIVI has been established specifically to address the challenge of in-vehicle infotainment product development. Infotainment is so complex because of its diverse scope; it must encompass the functionality delivered by the latest consumer gadget whilst providing a robust vehicle network interface. GENIVI intends to collaborate with the communities best placed to support each aspect of an infotainment solution, and alliances like AUTOSAR and FlexRay are the logical source of the vehicle infra-structure services. There is already a significant overlap between GENIVI and AUTOSAR membership and GENIVI will adopt AUTOSAR solutions wherever possible and integrate them into the GENIVI stack.

AI: What kind of impact do you think the GENIVI platform will have on the IVI industry?

Smethurst: I expect GENIVI to enable a re-profiling of who does what within the value chain. By opening up, both technically and commercially, it will enable increased competition by creating alternatives. This is essential if we are to stay on par with the consumer sector. For example, by making the GENIVI reference implementation available in open source, new and existing developers will be able to create new and exciting features that they are then able to offer to automakers and Tier Ones for commercialization on the basis of a consistent platform. GENIVI is unique in having eliminated all single point dependencies in the value chain for the delivery of an infotainment product. The close alignment of the GENIVI platform to the consumer ecosystem and the increased choices during product development will move the IVI industry away from its proprietary origins.

AI: Tell us a little about how the GENIVI Alliance came into being and the decision to base the platform on the LINUX OS.

AI: How soon do you see IVI products based on the GENIVI platform making their commercial debuts?

Smethurst: I cannot give you detailed timings, but I can say that GENIVI is requested by each of the GENIVI automakers in their next generation product specifications.

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