The Automotive Linux Summit Marks Linux's Bright Future in Vehicles

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 14, 2011

If you cycled the clock back a few years, you would find lots of people still debating whether Linux had the potential to dominate as a desktop operating system. Fast-forward to today, and it's clear that Linux is in fact finding many of its biggest opportunities at the server level, in mobile devices, in embedded Linux deployments, and in other scenarios that lie outside the desktop computing arena. There are also more and more signs that the next frontier for Linux may be in cars, with big backers interested in the idea. And now, The Linux Foundation has announced its program for the first-ever Automotive Linux Summit taking place November 28, 2011 in Yokohama, Japan.

"Linux has a competitive advantage in the automotive industry due to its ability to support the long-term support needs of automakers," said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation, in announcing the summit. "But we're at the very beginning of what Linux will do to revolutionize the way people interact with their cars. The Automotive Linux Summit will help advance that work." 

 Here are some of the speakers scheduled for the summit, and take note of the companies they represent:

  • 1) Toyota's Ken-ichi Murata, project general manager, Electronics Development Division #1. Murata will present "Opening Up the Automotive Industry." 
  • 2) Nissan's Toshiro Muramatsu and BMW's Head of Infotainment Architecture Design Graham Smethurst will join The Linux Foundation's Jim Zemlin and Toyota's Ken-ichi Murata for a closing panel on "How Can We Make It Happen?" 
  • 3) Intel Japan's Director and Vice President Yoshie Munakata will address how shared technology will accelerate innovation in the automotive marketplace. 
  • 4) Graham Smethurst, who is also president of the GENIVI Alliance, will share the organization's lessons learned with open source software. 
  • 5) Linux kernel developer and SUSE's Greg Kroah-Hartman will present a history of the Linux kernel and the kernel community. 
  • 6) Symbio's CTO of Device Creation, Juha-Matti Liukkonen, will talk about how next generation IVI systems are built.

 There are car makers and third-party organizations that have stayed steadily interested in Linux for automotive applications for years. For example, Toyota is an active member of The Linux Foundation. And, The Genivi Alliance is a non-profit industry consortium committed to driving the adoption of an In-Vehicle Infotainment open-source development platform. You can watch a video on The Genivi Alliance's work here

It's notable that The Linux Foundation's car summit is going on in Japan. Japanese and European car makers have thus far expressed more interest in open source in-car open source solutions than American car makers have. In all likelihood, though, all car makers will be warming up to open source platforms and applications for their products.