Monday, July 18, 2016

Software Update: Automotive Grade Linux Spec v2.0 Arrives, Adoption Grows

Infiniti Q70s Control Panel Display as seen at a recent Willow Springs International Raceway Motor Press Guild (MPG) Track Day event. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2015)

Software Update: Automotive Grade Linux Spec v2.0 Arrives, Adoption Grows
Jul 14, 2016 — by Eric Brown,

The Automotive Grade Linux project released v2 of its open platform for connected cars, and added support for Raspberry Pi, DragonBoard, and Wandboard SBCs.

The Linux Foundation’s Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) project, which is developing a “Linux-based, open platform for the connected car,” announced the release of the second version of its Unified Code Base (UCB) distribution for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI). The latest version adds features like audio routing, rear seat display support, the beginnings of an app platform, and support for development boards including the DragonBoard, Wandboard, and Raspberry Pi.

AGL’s Yocto Project derived UCB distro, which is also based in part on the GENIVI and Tizen automotive specs, was first released in January. UCB 1.0 followed an experimental AGL stack in 2014 and an AGL Requirements Specification in June, 2015.
UCB is scheduled for a 3.0 release in early 2017, at which point some automotive manufacturers will finally use it in production cars. Most of the IVI software will be based on UCB, but carmakers can also differentiate with their own features.

New features in UCB 2.0, which will be available for download by the end of the week, include:

  • Rear seat display and video playback — supports simultaneous playback on front and rear displays
  • Audio routing and mixing — based on GENIVI and Tizen audio management, prioritization, and layering
  • Application framework — controls and manages installation, launch, and update of applications, and adds security by assigning resources only to approved apps
  • ConnMan network management — ConnMan daemon based scheme for pairing multiple Bluetooth devices and switching data connections between Bluetooth and WiFi
  • Vehicle bus messaging — rewritten with built-in security to prevent unwanted intrusions and stop rogue apps from communicating with vehicle bus
  • New build environment — faster server that lets developers specify what goes into the build, and submit custom jobs
  • New test infrastructure — enables connect connectivity to a hardware board over the Internet to perform testing
  • New hardware support — NXP Sabre Automotive, Wandboard, Qualcomm DragonBoard, TI Vayu EVM, and Raspberry Pi, adding to previous support for Renesas R-CAR M2 PORTER and R-CAR E2 Silk, Intel boards like the MinnowBoard MAX, and the QEMU x86 64-bit emulator
  • AGL UCB 2.0 is being demonstrated at the Automotive Linux Summit on July 13-14 in Tokyo. The demo includes rear seat display, video playback, AM/FM radio, wheel input device, navigation, HVAC control, media player and browser, and settings and home screen functionality.

Automotive Grade Linux architecture (Ctrl-Click to enlarge). Image Credit: copyright © 2016

AGL Membership Expands

AGL seems to be eclipsing GENIVI as the leading open Linux car platform. More than 30 new companies have joined AGL in the past year, bringing the membership to more than 70.

The January release of UCB 1.0 was accompanied by the announcement of new members including Ford, Subaru, Mazda, and Mitsubishi Motors. Pre-existing members include Toyota, Nissan, and Jaguar Land Rover, which already offers an AGL-inspired IVI system. The addition of Ford, a longtime Windows Automotive partner, was a particularly significant coup, and the sign-on of automotive IVI component vendors like Harman, Panasonic, and Pioneer was also key.

In recent months, Hyundai has joined, along with dozens of technology companies. These include chipmakers like TI, MediaTek, and Qualcomm, which has launched an automotive-focused, Linux-ready Snapdragon 820a SoC and Connected Car Reference Platform. Previous semiconductor members included Renesas and Nvidia, which has a Linux-compatible Drive PX smart car system based on its Tegra SoCs.

Joining an organization doesn’t equate with a commitment to use its spec. Yet, the AGL has garnered promises to implement UCB from Toyota, as well as chipmaker Renesas and IVI equipment manufacturers like Aisin AW, DENSO, Fujitsu Ten, Harman, Panasonic, and Pioneer.

IVI’s Long Road

IVI systems started appearing in luxury cars about a decade ago around the time of the first iPhone and Android phones, and the oldest Linux-oriented organization focused on IVI — the GENIVI Alliance — was founded more than seven years ago. Yet IVI systems, which combine touch-enabled navigation and infotainment features, and in many cases the communications, safety, and security features provided by AGL’s UCB, are still far from universal.

An IHS report from late December projected that sales of automotive displays of 7.0-plus inches will reach only 33.5 million units in 2021, or less than half of the roughly 82.9 million cars sold globally in 2015.The IVI tide is rising faster, however, as the sales will grow at a rate of nearly 10 percent.

The relatively slow uptake compared to smartphones is due to the conservative nature of the automotive business, which is based largely on the necessary concern for safety. This continues to be a concern as IVI is integrated with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) systems and self-driving cars.

There’s still plenty of time for new contenders to take on leading platforms like QNX and Windows Embedded Automotive. Most of the newcomers run on Linux or the Linux-based Android, with projects based on AGL, GENIVI, or other Linux platforms such as Intel’s In-Vehicle Solutions or the new Qt Automotive Embedded. The Qt Company is an AGL member, and says it will provide backends for AGL, GENIVI, and QNX. Intel’s Wind River subsidiary is also a member.

Android-based IVI systems include Mitsubishi’s FlexConnect.IVI, Renault’s R-Link, and Parrot’s after-market Android IVI solutions. There continue to be rumors that mobile/IVI integration stacks like Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay will turn into full-fledged IVI and telematics platforms.

The automotive business now has sufficient experience with IVI to realize the benefits of a universal open platform. They understand the complications and costs involved with keeping up with increasingly sophisticated, fast-changing technology. Like most other automotive platforms, UCB will support “instrument cluster, heads up display, telematics, and autonomous driving in the future,” says AGL.

“The automotive industry is starting to embrace an open innovation mindset, and OEMs and suppliers are realizing that collaboration and joint development benefit the entire industry,” stated Dan Cauchy, General Manager of Automotive at The Linux Foundation. “The AGL UCB provides the industry with a single, shared platform that will ultimately reduce fragmentation, improve time-to- market and reduce the cost of software development for everyone.”

“The latest version of the AGL UCB distribution marks a significant step toward building a developer ecosystem around the platform,” stated Masashige Mizuyama, CTO, Infotainment Business, Panasonic. “The new platform enables developers to build and test one application that can be supported by multiple OEMs, instead of having to build multiple applications with the same function.”

Further information

More information on AGL UCB, including a link for free downloads, may be found at the Linux Foundation’s Automotive Grade Linux website.
[Reference Here - copyright © 2016]

Performance & Racing Tech Talk, Automotive Grade, Linux, AGL, UCB, Unified Code Base, In-Vehicle Infotainment, IVI, Raspberry Pi, DragonBoard, Wandboard SBC, Yocto Project,

Sunday, January 24, 2016

AutoSuit - A Techno Solution To The Well Dressed Man

Gay Giano’s business development director Matthew Lee stands at store front display wearing his latest 3D scanned suit for the well dressed man. Image Credit: Jonathan Wong via South China Morning Post

AutoSuit - A Techno Solution To The Well Dressed Man

This robotic tailor can place anyone in the perfect suit in less than 10 seconds.

Hong Kong-based Gay Giano 3D TailorCustomers are asked to wear a tight-fitting tank top and step inside a changing room equipped with 14 infrared sensors - eight in the front and six at the back. The machine instructs the customer to stand at a certain spot and hold still while it does its work in under 10 seconds. The data, including not just measurements of length and circumference, but also angles, is instantaneously delivered to an app on the tablet. 

For tailors, the measurements taken of their customer are necessary to come out with a decent fit result. Without these 24 or so measures - each by each, one might come out with something slightly better than a blanket but that the customer would not accept.

In these days of innovation, when technology is present almost everywhere, tailoring now has become much easier and precise.

Business development director at Charmston Limited, Matthew Lee, said that the technology helps boost a trade that is struggling due to a shortage of fresh tailors entering the game. Lee said “There’s a huge disconnect between these traditional craftsmen or craftswomen and the next generation. There’s no one taking over. So we felt that, if that’s the case, it’s either a dying trade or we can revitalise it with technology that could enhance or keep a better record of their knowledge,”. Caption & Image Credit: The 3D Measurement Company

This 'robotic tailor' (scanner) is a breakthrough that in less than 10 seconds, one will get the perfect fit suit as this robotic tailor gives over 120 detailed measurements. All that is needed is the usual good cloth, a studied technician, and about six hours - voila ... appears the well dressed man.

The company uses 14 infrared sensors to scan a customer’s body and provide 120 precise measurements, but the 3D tech is more interested in keeping a firm record of this traditional craft, according to Gay Giano’s business development director Matthew Lee. Image Credit: Jonathan Wong via South China Morning Post

Gay Giano 3D Tailor is now working with an Israeli firm to develop software that will show a 3D pattern rendering of the suits within 15 minutes.

The store has been using and perfecting 3D measuring technology since it opened in November 2014. Its tailors are now working with the Israeli software company to create an accurate rendition of the fabrics used by taking into account the tension and weight of the materials to show the correct drape.

The company has invested US$100,000 on the scanning technology and the software needed to render the designs. It expects to introduce the software in the second quarter of this year.
[ht: South China Morning Post]

TAGS: robotic tailor, ten seconds, Hong Kong, Gay Giano, 3D Tailor, body scan, South China Morning Post, 3D Measurement Company, Symblogogy