Volkswagen joins Automotive Grade Linux and Linux Foundation

Volkswagen joins Automotive Grade Linux and Linux Foundation

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

AGL is a cross-sector consortium developing an open platform for the networked vehicle. The Linux Foundation is a non-profit organization that regards the open source idea as enabler for mass innovations and promotes it accordingly.

The open source project AGL of the Linux Foundation will, according to its authors, change the way automobile manufacturers develop software. Currently, more than 140 members are working together on a common platform that will serve as a de facto industry standard. The introduction of an open platform across the industry will enable automotive manufacturers and suppliers to use a common code base and reuse software. It follows the principle that developers develop a product once, which can then be used by several car manufacturers. This reduces development costs, shortens the time-to-market for new products and reduces fragmentation within the industry.

“The automotive industry is undergoing the digital transition. That’s why OEMs and suppliers are increasingly turning to open source solutions such as the AGL platform to drive innovation and bring products to market faster,” says Dan Cauchy, executive director of Automotive Grade Linux at the Linux Foundation. Members of the AGL project include carmakers Honda, Toyota, Mazda and Mercedes-Benz. From the chip manufacturing industry, Arm, Renesas, NXP, Intel and Qualcomm are on the membership list. 

The connection between VW and Linux has deep roots: Volkswagen introduced the subsystem for the Controller Area Network (CAN) into the Linux Kernel 2.6.25 already in 2008. This paved the way for a standardized socket API for developers and a common CAN network driver model for SoCs and CAN hardware in industrial IT. As a result, Volkswagen and non-automotive CAN users have learned from each other, so that Linux CAN support is now widespread in industrial, automotive and academic institutions (e.g. CERN).

Nevertheless, working with communities and providing knowledge, ideas and source code requires overcoming traditional ways of thinking in the automotive industry. By joining the AGL, VW is now taking a step towards becoming part of the development community for the common Linux platform in the automotive industry.

The AGL Unified Code Base (UCB) platform was born from the collaboration of dozens of member companies and is an open source software platform for infotainment, telematics and combined applications. It represents 70% of the starting point for a development project and includes an operating system, a set of middleware routines and an application framework. Automobile manufacturers and suppliers can adapt the platform to their individual product and customer needs with functions, services and branding. Based on Linux, AGL develops an open platform that targets in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) in the first place. In addition, AGL wants to address all vehicle software, including instrument clusters, head-up displays, telematics, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving. The AGL platform is available to everyone and anyone can participate in the development.


Related articles:

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Study: Android challenges automotive OS market

Automotive Grade Linux speeds in-car infotainment developments

Safer automotive software through Open Source?

Autosar Adaptive now comes with network binding of DDS standard


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