The car, however, didn't work as advertised. It could drive, turn corners and stop on a dime. But the fancy technology features VW had promised were either absent or broken. The company's programmers hadn't yet figured out how to update the car's software remotely. Its futuristic head-up display that was supposed to flash speed, directions and other data onto the windshield didn't function.
Of course, operating systems have been present in cars for many years now, from the menus on the first digital stereos to the built-in in-car entertainment and satellite navigation systems that are offered as standard on almost every new car these days. However, these operating systems simply aren't future-proofed, and they don't manage the actual operation of the car itself – which we'll get onto later. Although there are already joint approaches between three (and more) of Germany's biggest automotive manufacturers to try and catch up with Tesla, there that BMW, Daimler and VW are working on a centralised operating system for driverless cars. So why is a collaborative operating system so important to the trio? In the next decade, there are two huge changes that automotive manufacturers face: the electrification of vehicles and the next level of autonomous driving that sees our control reduced either completely, or significantly.
The world never changes quite the way you expect. But at The Verge, we've had a front-row seat while technology has permeated every aspect of our lives over the past decade. Some of the resulting moments -- and gadgets -- arguably defined the decade and the world we live in now. But others we ate up with popcorn in hand, marveling at just how incredibly hard they flopped. This is the decade we learned that crowdfunded gadgets can be utter disasters, even if they don't outright steal your hard-earned cash. It's the decade of wearables, tablets, drones and burning batteries, and of ridiculous valuations for companies that were really good at hiding how little they actually had to offer. Here are 84 things that died hard, often hilariously, to bring us where we are today. Everyone was confused by Google's Nexus Q when it debuted in 2012, including The Verge -- which is probably why the bowling ball of a media streamer crashed and burned before it even came to market.
Elon Musk's new tractor trailer can handle most US shipping routes on a single charge. Linux is everywhere including your car. While some companies, like Tesla, run their own homebrew Linux distros, most rely on Automotive Grade Linux (AGL). AGL is a collaborative cross-industry effort developing an open platform for connected cars with over 140 members. This Linux Foundation-based organization is a who's who of Linux-friendly car manufacturers.
Elon Musk's new tractor trailer can handle most US shipping routes on a single charge. Way back in 2004, Jonathan Schwartz, then Sun's chief operating officer, suggested that cars could become software platforms the same way feature phones were. But, it's Linux, not Java, which is making the most of "smart cars". That's because Linux and open-source software are flexible enough to bring a complete software stack to any hardware, be it supercomputer, smartphone, or a car. There are other contenders, such as Blackberry's QNX and Microsoft IoT Connected Vehicles, but both have lost ground to Linux.
As more carmakers adopt "over the air (OTA)" software updates for their increasingly connected and autonomous cars, is the risk of hacker hijack also increasing? Imagine jumping in your car but being taken somewhere you didn't want to go - into oncoming traffic, say, or even over a cliff. That may seem like an extreme scenario, but the danger is real. Hackers showed two years ago that they could remotely take control of a Chrysler Jeep. And earlier this year, Tesla boss Elon Musk warned about the dangers of hackers potentially taking control of thousands of driverless cars.
BlackBerry QNX is off to a great start at CES 2017. Today they announced what they are calling their "most advanced and secure embedded software platform for autonomous drive and connected cars," which is also known as QNX SDP 7.0. "With the push toward connected and autonomous vehicles, the electronic architecture of cars is evolving – from a multitude of smaller processors each executing a dedicated function, to a set of high performance domain controllers, powered by 64-bit processors and graphical processing units. To develop these new systems, our automotive customers will need a safe and secure 64-bit OS that can run highly complex software, including neural networks and artificial intelligence algorithms. QNX SDP 7.0 is suited not only for cars, but also for almost any safety- or mission-critical application that requires 64-bit performance and advanced security.