Canonical's Push Into Cars Includes the Cloud

by Ostatic Staff - Jan. 10, 2012

Yesterday, I covered Canonical's news, out of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), in Las Vegas, about a new Ubuntu-driven smart TV platform, called Ubuntu TV. The platform is apparently based on the Unity interface and is an open source solution that others will be able to modify and enhance. Canonical is hoping that TV manufacturers will bite. But Canonical had another announcement in conjunction with CES. The company and AllGo Embedded Systems announced the availability of their Linux In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) solution that combines AllGo's Middlware with Canonical's Ubuntu IVI Remix operating system. It's a platform that promises to put Linux in many more cars.

The solution for cars that Canonical and AllGo Embedded Systems are partnering on is based on Genivi Alliance specificiations, which we originally covered here.  Genivi has had the cooperation of Intel and BMW since 2006, and is helping lead the way in open source-based in-vehicle infotainment systems. There will undoubtedly be a race for proprietary control of auto infotainment platforms and applications, so open source fans should be rooting for Canonical's and AllGo's solution.

According to Canonical's statement:

"AllGo Systems' Linux IVI Middleware Suite includes a full featured, highly configurable and portable Multimedia Engine (MME), Smart phone connectivity, Cloud Services and APIs that makes it GUI agnostic. MME includes a media connectivity stack to support multiple media devices (iAP/USB/MTP/SD/CD), media player that support playback of Audio/Video file formats and integrated with HW accelerators, supports unified media database creation and advanced metadata management."

The interesting thing to note here is that the platform sounds like it could incorporate "cloud services" of numerous kinds in cars. That means that the current level of accessibility you have to syncing services, data stored in the cloud, and more could radically improve. Canonical's Ubuntu One service is integrated with AllGo's platform.

Cristian Parrino, VP Online Services at Canonical commented: "The connected car will be a major theme for 2012 as consumers demand greater access to their digital content on the move. Working with partners like AllGo and GENIVI, Ubuntu One is already demonstrating its one of the first personal cloud services to the automotive market." 

So there it is, get set for your car, the cloud and Linux to converge.