Toyota Motor Corp has made a bold new move on the burgeoning car technology playing field when they announced they’d be adapting Linux open source software to power the infotainment system of the 2018 Toyota Camry. This will be an alternative to industry-leading Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, whose products the majority of global auto manufacturers have jumped through hurdles to make their software compatible with, in efforts to not lose car sales due to consumer loyalty.
It’s no great secret smartphones are a huge part of how we consume information and media, as well as how we stay connected. It can also be said that the subject of the suppliers of these dominating smartphones—namely, the iPhone and Droid—is one most consumers have a strong opinion on, and can build a detailed case on their preference on one over the other.
Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) is the name of the open source software being developed in tandem with several other auto makers, suppliers, and tech firms—including Mazda Motor Corp—that are working to develop an industry standard on in-vehicle apps that enable users to access smartphone data. Beyond this, automotive manufacturers and suppliers can make customizations unique to their brand. The code is an open source collaboration that brings the community of developers together to promote the sharing and exchange of ideas. AGL currently is the only initiative that offers a fully open software stack for the connected car, and comprehensive software for such things as the heads up display, telematics, the instrument cluster, and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). In fact, it opens up new possibilities in the realm of autonomous cars of the future.
The 2018 Toyota Camry is slated to be the first vehicle on the US market that uses Automotive Grade Linux technology, coming this summer. Toyota Motor Corp has plans to roll it out subsequently across additional models in their Toyota and Lexus fleets. If you want to be one of the first to try out this new technology, call your local Toyota AutoNation dealer to inquire when these Toyota models will arrive.