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      10-24-2008, 07:44 AM   #1
inabis
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BMW seeking partners for their Open Source platform

At the Convergence 2008 conference on automotive electronics yesterday, BMW revealed it is looking for partners as it pursues an open-source car computing platform. The German company is enthusiastic about the potential for such an open-source system's potential to keep up with the rapid advances in technology and features in the multimedia and digital entertainment areas.

Though no other car makers are yet officially on board, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and Honda have previously participated in a panel on the subject, reports Automotive News. BMW said it wants to have an open-source system in a vehicle selling 200,000 or more units over the next five to seven years.

The newly revealed tie-up with Mercedes-Benz could make cooperation on this front likely as well, since whatever software is chosen will need a specific set of hardware to ensure compatibility - and hardware purchasing is the nature of the BMW-Mercedes agreement. "We were convinced we had to develop an open platform that would allow for open software since the speed in the infotainment and entertainment industry requires us to be on a much faster track," said Gunter Reichart, BMW vice president of driver assistance, body electronics and electrical networks. "We invite other OEMs to join with us, to exchange with us. We are open to exchange with others."

This spirit of openness and willingness to share and expand technology is a marked turnaround in the corporate car culture, especially between historical rivals like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Whether it's simply a marriage of convenience or a sign of the truly difficult times facing the industry, it's no less remarkable for its magnitude.

GM is also considering whether to go open source or to keep seeking proprietary solutions. "This is a decision we will make in the next six to 12 months. It's a great opportunity for us. I think this can really advance a lot of software development and bring a lot of innovation to the vehicle," said Chris Thibodeau, GM's director of global technology engineering for electrical/electronics products. Said Chris Thibodeau, GM's global director of technology engineering for electrical and electronics products. No discussion of cooperating directly with BMW has yet been made, but since an open source project can be contributed to by essentially anyone, once a platform was established, carmakers could cooperate at will as long as they managed to abide by whatever licensing restrictions apply.

Several other carmakers, including Chrysler, Ford and Honda expressed interest in developing the idea of an open-source platform further. Honda's Toyohei Nakajima, senior engineer at Honda R&D said, "We also need to make sure who will be responsible for such an open system architecture. Maybe we need to learn more about that from BMW."

BMW's ConnectedDrive system is currently deployed in many of its models, and offers an integration with the in-car iDrive computing system and access to the Internet from the road.
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      10-24-2008, 08:46 AM   #2
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thats awesome, great read!
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      10-24-2008, 10:46 AM   #3
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That's great! But then that's just one more thing to distract already distracted driver's (cell phone, i-pod)
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      10-24-2008, 11:48 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by woody2223 View Post
That's great! But then that's just one more thing to distract already distracted driver's (cell phone, i-pod)
+1

we dont need anymore accidents! maybe a "parked mode only" type access would work but you know people will find ways around that regardless
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      10-24-2008, 02:45 PM   #5
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sounds completely unnecessary
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      10-24-2008, 06:46 PM   #6
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It's like you can't avoid the internet anymore, anywhere.
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      10-25-2008, 12:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by GnokGnik View Post
It's like you can't avoid the internet anymore, anywhere.
yea, you can't bro, thats just the WAY we (the current generation) are heading, i m sorry to say that sometimes i am ONE of them but for me Idrive is 90 unnecessary because only thing i might use for is directions rest i am fine with basic. maybe they will make it only USABLE in the park mode ??
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      10-25-2008, 01:17 AM   #8
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A lot of people tout the benefits of open source. I think it's a great thing conceptually, however I think it might not be the best plan in this case. I'd much prefer BMW develop this in house with a great programming team - really throw some serious dollars at it - and then create an API for 3rd party development.

2 cents from a programmer.
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      10-25-2008, 02:09 AM   #9
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      10-25-2008, 11:53 AM   #10
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Screw the Internet... welcome "The Grid"
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      10-26-2008, 12:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acemetrical View Post
A lot of people tout the benefits of open source. I think it's a great thing conceptually, however I think it might not be the best plan in this case. I'd much prefer BMW develop this in house with a great programming team - really throw some serious dollars at it - and then create an API for 3rd party development.

2 cents from a programmer.
+1

Maybe they are proposing this to divide the costs of development.
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      10-31-2008, 03:07 PM   #12
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Could this be a possibility for open source tuning? I would love to be able to street tune the e92 coupe with either a pirate open source program or Third party tuner AP. I had this on some previous cars and I pulled some serious gains with custom tunes and lots of tuning time. I wanted the 3 series but going to an "off the shelf" stage 2 tune seemed to defeat the purpose of tuning it at all.
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