Linux based AGL platform to boost Toyota’s in-car tech features

Automakers have high overheads in maintaining codebases for two different platforms. With AGL both platforms can potentially be aligned resulting in reduced costs and development time.

On Wednesday, Toyota Motor Corp disclosed, the infotainment system in its revamped Camry sedan, to be sold in the U.S. will be based running Linux.

Toyota aims to tap the open-source platform to keep up its pace in the tech race for next cars.

Toyota will install the Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) in its mainstay model, so as to provide a customised solutions to customers.

As for capturing user data, Toyota stated it would either use Apple’s CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto.

Incidentally, Toyota is among the ten global auto manufacturer who are working with tech companies and suppliers to jointly build the AGL system thanks to which automakers can eliminate the need to code systems from the ground up for each vehicle model.

Other companies who are participating in this collaboration effort is Daimler AG, Mazda Motor Corp, Suzuki Motor Corp among others.

The team effort will result in lowering development cost as well as reduce the development timeframe, said Toyota. As a result of this joint collaborative effort, participants aim to create an industry standard platform for operating in-vehicle features including navigation applications and music apps.

Smart cars typically require over 100 million lines of computer code, as a result coding has become rather cumbersome as opposed to coding regular apps, which take only a few months.

Furthermore, once the app is built, its maintenance become quite a task given their sheer individual numbers and disparate interfaces between products across automakers.

“It’s very necessary to reduce the overhead of duplication work among our suppliers so they can spend more time to create new things rather than maintaining fragmentary codes,” said Kenichi Murata, group manager of Connected Strategy and Planning at Toyota.

The platform will support advanced technologies, including connected car services and self-driving functions.

Toyota’s upcoming Camry sedan will feature an AGL system replete with a suite of in-vehicle apps. The Japanese automaker disclosed depending on the success of its launch, it plans on expanding the platform to its other models, including Lexus vehicles sold in North America and in other countries.

Currently, apps produced by automakers are compatible with Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto. To support and customise the two ecosystems has become costly and difficult for automakers, said Dan Cauchy, general manager of automotive at the Linux Foundation.

“It comes down to an automaker wanting to customise their operating platform to their liking and not having a third party dictating what the applications are going to be for the vehicle,” explained Cauchy.

“A lot of automakers want that control.”


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