MeeGo makes inroads into the automotive market. GM, BMW, PeugeotCitroen, Hyundai and Renault on board
MeeGo has been touted from the start as a lot more than a smartphone operating system. In fact, one of the biggest plays for MeeGo is outside of the smartphone space, in the embedded market.
And a key component of that market is the automotive industry. All the world’s biggest car manufacturers want their future In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) systems to be able to do a lot more than just play music and maybe a few movies. IVI is a rapidly evolving field that encompasses every possible application that can be used by all the travelers in a car. Navigation, entertainment, location-based services, connectivity to devices and broadband networks are all part of the next generation IVI.
As such, an alliance called GENIVI was formed for development of common IVI systems. Among its founding members are some of the most important companies in the industry. Some you’ve heard of, like GM, BMW and PSA PeugeotCitroen, and some you probably haven’t heard of, like Magneti Marelli and Delphi, but they are two of the biggest automotive components producers in the world.
Among GENIVI ‘core members’ we can also spot car makers Hyundai and Renault, and Alpine and Continental from the in-car electronics and entertainment space.
An interesting number of semiconductor companies are also members: Texas Instruments, Marvell, NXP and Freescale.
The alliance formed by all these companies, together with some others, has just announced that MeeGo will be the basis for their next IVI reference release.
This has the potential to be huge, but the outcome probably will take a few more years to be seen in commercially available products. The aftermarket entertainment system vendors may release first, but the car manufacturers need time, and car design is usually a process that takes a few years from start to finish.
Still, good news for MeeGo and its parents’ ambitions. Intel and Nokia were always keen to push it to new markets, and it seems that some of those are beginning to react in a very favorable manner.
The car you’ll buy in a couple of years might just be running MeeGo as its IVI operating system. The possibilities are simply endless.
We’ll have to keep an eye on this one, for there’s always a chance that the years will pass and nothing will come out of this announcement.