The two demo systems, a digital instrument cluster and a multimedia head unit, are the creations of QNX Software Systems . Techcon is still weeks away, so let's take a quick virtual tour to see what these systems can do.
Simplify your driving with smart instrument cluster
QNX’s digital instrument cluster demonstrates how automakers can replace physical speedometers and gauges with software-driven LCD displays. Unlike conventional instruments, these displays can dynamically reconfigure themselves to provide drivers the information they need, when they need it. For instance, here is QNX’s digital cluster displaying a Corvette-styled virtual speedometer and tachometer:
And here is the cluster again, with a speedometer and a navigation application:
It’s easy to see how this dynamic configurability could simplify driving in the real world. Put the car in drive, for example, and you would see a navigation display; put it in reverse, and you would see a backup camera.
Smartphone-savy head unit: Drive your phone with the steering wheel
The multimedia head unit demonstrates how QNX technology allows car infotainment systems to access an immense range of applications on smartphones and other mobile devices. In fact, the head unit supports two modes of mobile-device interaction. The first is Terminal Mode, which replicates the smartphone screen on the head unit and allows steering wheel buttons, touchscreens, and other in-car user inputs to control the phone. These and other features are highlighted in this video.
The second is Apple iPod Out, which allows the head unit to display content from an iPhone or iPod touch, including music and album art. Imagine the simplicity of your controlling Blackberry or iPhone features from your console. Or seeing the picture of your caller on your console just as you do on your phone. I’m only scratching the surface of these two technologies and the videos provide more detail.
The head unit offers several other features, including hands-free calling, streaming audio, Webkit browsing, Google Maps with local search, and a reskinnable user interface based on Adobe Flash.
Both the cluster and the head unit use a Freescale i.MX51 applications processor, based on the ARM Cortex-A8. Support for the ARM Powered Jacinto platform from Texas Instruments is also in the works.
Automakers are already using QNX technology and ARM Powered processors in their real-world designs. For example, in June QNX announced that it will provide the software platform for Audi’s next-generation high-end infotainment system, which will be based on the ARM Cortex-A9 multi-core processor.
To create both demo systems in the Corvette, QNX Software Systems used the QNX CAR Application Platform, a complete prototype-friendly and production-ready solution. Built on field-proven technology, the platform’s customizable HMI and pre-integrated software allows development teams to reduce the time and effort of building world-class infotainment systems.
See the Corvette and QNX at Techcon
What else would you like to know? Ask a question here on the blog or stop by the silver Corvette in booth #606. QNX will be close by in booth 708 at Techcon.
If you’re unfamiliar with QNX, it has been in business since 1980, providing tools and embedded operating systems for developers in the automotive, medical, networking, and industrial markets. The company’s software is especially popular in automotive, where it has been deployed in more than 200 vehicle models, in everything from handsfree kits to 3D navigation units.
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