Vehicle project defined by Eclipse open source software • The Register


It’s been a busy week for the Eclipse Foundation, as the group unveiled a new operating system for distributed devices and opened the invitation list for an open source software-defined vehicle project.

The latter’s goal, according to the Foundation, is to create a vendor-independent and open-source approach to automotive software development. “Software-defined vehicles,” enthuses the group, “will allow automakers as well as automotive suppliers to put software at the very center of vehicle development, with hardware considerations to follow.

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Members include Bosch and Microsoft, and while the latter’s involvement may cause some to wonder what shape a Redmond-designed car would take (and the obvious jokes that follow), the former has long made a splash in the world of automotive and released its own take on software-defined vehicle (SWdV.)

Red Hat and SUSE, which announced their willingness to put Kubernetes behind the wheel last year, are also involved.

It’s fair to say that there isn’t a small amount of salivation within the industry in terms of the additional revenue streams potentially offered as cars continue to get smarter. Subscriptions, live updates, and software upgrades all become a reality despite one or two setbacks (e.g. Tesla’s Full Self Driving software, whose beta was abruptly canceled last week.)

“Today,” said Bosch, “a vehicle is in its best condition when it leaves the factory. But in the future, the software can be continuously optimized within the limits of the hardware.”

The Eclipse initiative aims to keep things vendor agnostic, while allowing manufacturers to work on differentiating customer functionality while building from the open base. “Although we have deep roots in the automotive community, a project of this scale and scale has never been attempted before,” said Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation.

The initiative comes the same week as the introduction of Project Oniro, an operating system aimed at providing an alternative to established IoT and Edge operating systems.

Milinkovich described Oniro as “well done open source” because, we suppose, describing Oniro as “an open source implementation of OpenHarmony that was based on HarmanyOS, as given by Huawei to OpenAtom” is probably a bit of a mouthful.

The Brussels-based Eclipse Foundation and China’s first open source foundation, OpenAtom, announced a “strategic initiative focused on OpenHarmony” last month, and we’re there now.

The plan is that by creating a compatible implementation of OpenHarmony, applications designed for Oniro will run on OpenHarmony and vice versa. Industrial and IoT applications should be at the forefront.

While the Eclipse Foundation can be proud of its openness and transparency, it will be interesting to observe what Western governments that ostensibly stick their noses up whenever the word “Huawei” is mentioned will be interesting to observe. ®


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