New version of QNX CAR Platform supports Android apps and Qt user interfaces

June 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Infotainment, News, Product News

Opens ecosystem of mobile developers creating Android, HTML5, OpenGL ES, and Qt apps

At Telematics Detroit 2013 QNX Software Systems Limited is demonstrating a new version of its QNX CAR™ Platform for Infotainment that will enable developers of car infotainment systems to leverage a broader range of mobile apps and content.

The QNX CAR Platform already supports both HTML5 and OpenGL® ES, the two most popular open standards for mobile app development. With the new version, 2.1, the platform extends its reach to support Android apps, as well as apps and human machine interfaces (HMIs) built with the popular Qt® 5 application framework.

“Automakers need to tap into the rapid innovation of the mobile app community — it’s the surest way to keep vehicles fresh with new and engaging features, stay connected with consumers, and, ultimately, build greater brand loyalty,” said Andy Gryc, senior automotive product marketing manager, QNX Software Systems.

“From the beginning, the QNX CAR Platform for Infotainment was designed to support mobile standards and, thanks to its flexible architecture, our customers will soon have the opportunity to access an even larger share of the mobile ecosystem.”

Sandbox partitioning

To maximize reliability, the QNX CAR Platform for Infotainment 2.1 runs Android apps in a separate application container, much like it handles HTML5 apps. This sandboxed approach keeps the app environment cleanly partitioned from the HMI, protecting both the HMI and the overall system from unpredictable web content.

The platform’s support for the Qt 5 application framework provides a flexible, high-performance option for creating both apps and HMIs.

Qt 5 takes advantage of OpenGL ES 2.0 hardware acceleration to deliver optimal graphics performance. It also provides HMI developers with the choice of using native C/C++ or a JavaScript scripting engine, and it supports the concept of state machines, making it easy for developers to graphically model and design complex, event-driven HMIs that comply with automakers’ specifications.

HTML5 framework

Developers can also build complete HMIs with the HTML5 framework integrated into the QNX CAR Platform for Infotainment. The framework includes an optimized WebKit-based HTML5 engine that supports audio and video, geo-location, WebSockets, offline applications, session storage, canvas, and other standards, such as CSS3 and JavaScript.

Optimizations include pixel-accurate zooming, physics-based scrolling, and high-performance panning (ideal for maps and navigation). Developers also have the option to create HMIs with third-party design tools such as Elektrobit EB GUIDE and the Crank Storyboard™ Suite.

Expanded hardware and app support

The QNX CAR Platform for Infotainment 2.1 introduces several other enhancements to increase flexibility and performance, including improved power management, optimizations for faster boot time, and support for more hardware platforms. Choices now include Freescale® i.MX 6Dual  and i.MX 6Quad, NVIDIA® Tegra® 3, Texas Instruments OMAP™ 5, and Texas Instruments Jacinto 5 Eco.

The platform’s rich suite of pre-integrated partner apps has been expanded to include HearPlanet, Parkopedia, Soundtracker, and wcities eventseekr.

The QNX CAR Platform for Infotainment is based on QNX® technology deployed in millions of cars. It supports a rich set of pre-integrated technologies from QNX Software Systems and dozens of ecosystem partners to help automotive companies reduce the time required to build connected infotainment systems.

Availability

The QNX CAR Platform for Infotainment 2.1 will be available in July to select automotive customers through an early access program. Product availability is scheduled for Q4 2013.

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