Rogue Wave Software has been an associate member of the GENIVI Alliance for several years. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with the Steve Crumb, executive director at GENIVI, to talk about their efforts and the trends they’re seeing in 2016.
Can you tell us a little bit about the GENIVI Alliance and about yourself?
The GENIVI Alliance was launched in 2009 with a mission to drive the broad adoption of open source software including Linux in an automotive context, beginning with the in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system. Automakers and their suppliers needed a solution to manage the rapidly growing amount of software in a car and GENIVI’s solution was to create a development community where software could be adopted, enhanced, tested and maintained so that the burden of delivering IVI software could be shared among the members. The result of this was a reusable, IVI software platform consisting of numerous individual open source components that have been adopted by commercial companies and deployed in cars around the world.
I was privileged to be part of the team that initially launched the Alliance and I have been the executive director since its inception.
Why is it important for individuals and organizations to get involved with GENIVI? How can someone get involved?
Individual and organizational contribution is essential to GENIVI’s success. The collaborative community model depends on many hands and many eyes looking at the same code and improving it through bug fixes and feature enhancements. This makes the software better than many proprietary solutions and introduces innovative approaches that a single company would not have conceived. Because GENIVI’s work is done in the open, members and non-members alike can participate in software design and delivery in our open projects. Participating is as easy as joining our open mailing list and visiting our public wiki where one can find links to pages that describe ways to contribute. Many organizations have existing code that is useful in adjacent industries like mobile phones or transportation and can explore applicability of that code in an automotive context.
Is there a particular achievement that you are proud to say GENIVI and its members were part of?
Linux and open source software have become a preferred technology solution for current IVI production programs among many automakers. I don’t think this would have happened had not GENIVI and its members produced a software platform that is core to many commercial IVI offerings today. I’m proud of our members to have influenced the automotive industry in such a positive way.
There are many benefits to standardization but how do you maintain the spark of innovation? Are creativity and competition stifled?
GENIVI’s primary target is the IVI middleware that simply has to work. There’s not much innovation needed for commodity functionality. However, the standardized GENIVI software platform provides the perfect base upon which innovative approaches can be developed. In the IVI world, automakers differentiate themselves by deploying innovative concepts with their driver interface (HMI) and application offerings. GENIVI’s standard platform allows specialized software suppliers, start-ups, and academia to produce innovative solutions that “work with” a standard platform. This approach is the basis for our “Works with GENIVI” compliance program and is the foundation of one of this year’s strategic projects which we call “Platform for Innovation.” This project evolves our existing GENIVI Demo Platform (GDP) into a highly connected but standard platform on which developers can truly innovate.
Continue reading with part two of our interview with Steve Crumb – a deeper look at open source, security, and the big trends the industry will see in 2016.