AUTOMOTIVE GRADE LINUX
Linux Format|December 2021
Mats Tage Axelsson shows how open source frameworks and Linux can help navigate you safely to your coding destination.
Mats Tage Axelsson

Even though the car industry has been, and still is, quite slow on innovation, cars are now packed with electronics. The systems range from entertainment to keeping track of components and helping you drive safely – or not at all. Ever since Tesla included a tablet instead of instruments, the major manufacturers have been trying to keep up.

The Linux Foundation has joined this race by building the Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) distribution that was established in 2014. Designed to be run in a car (obviously) and available at all times, this means a small, embedded system for which there are plenty of options. AGL chose Yocto as an underlying build system as it’s already aimed at embedded systems and commonly used in IoT and other systems.

Choosing Yocto means all the communication protocols that an in-car system will need are included. Since these are for embedded systems, they already support the majority of buses and interfaces. Included in the distribution are many subsystems including infotainment, instrument clusters and more. As a project, they aim to have the base for all parts needed for a modern car. This also includes telematics and all the sophisticated stuff an autonomous vehicle needs.

Before you jump to the conclusion that this is a niche project not used in any actual cars, be aware that this is already running in many models from Subaru, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz. The project enjoys wide industry supports as the value to manufacturers is huge, saving them millions in development costs.

Since AGL acts as an overall distribution, many of the parts it utilises come from other projects., As the needs of a modern car are diverse those projects encompass a wide range. We’ll cover some of the core ones here.

GENIVI is a part of AGL and is the project that handles information and entertainment displays. An industry group drives the project, aiming to enable many operating systems for in-vehicle use. They work to allow connections between systems in the vehicle.

One sub-project covers a standard data interface unifying data handling across multiple vehicles. Using standards in this way clears many hurdles for companies and helps them focus on their own special features. The standard also simplifies connection to different cloud providers, which enables competition.

There is a sub-project handling cloud connectivity named CVII. Here you have all the standards that you need to handle your data and connections to the different services that will collect and send data.

Alexa Auto SDK

For the user, you want to have interfaces to the entire range of features in the car. You can choose to use the Alexa Auto SDK to build these functions for clients. Apart from the ordinary features that Alexa supports, you can also use these modules for controlling your heaters, lights and similar parts of a car. Alexa also supports dialling with your connected phone and the text-to-speech module can speak text messages and other communications.

OpenEmbedded

As mentioned earlier, many of the systems in your car will be small and dependent on stability and response. For this, the best standard out there is OpenEmbedded. Using this, you have a straightforward way to support the many platforms that will be available for your in-car systems. OpenEmbedded is widespread in other disciplines like IoT and robotics, making it a very well-tested way of handling your system.

Robotics Operating System

On the subject of robotics, note that included in the set of packages is the Robotics Operating System (ROS – see LXF272). This may seem counterintuitive at first; after all, we are not building Transformers here. When you look through the ROS system, however, it becomes clear that you can get a lot of use from it. With it, you get functions such as cameras, motion sensors and object avoidance built-in. You can use all this to make things like Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

Over The Air

Any regular driver of a vehicle will not be upgrading their systems themselves. Over-the-Air updates are an absolute necessity. Here OTA cooperates with AGL and has excellent solutions for this functionality. This functionality is more complex than it seems at first, one key reason being security. It’s absolutely vital that updates are correct, and that you protect the download integrity of the update packages. The implications of a failure could mean disaster.

YOCTO

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM LINUX FORMATView All

THE GUIX SYSTEM

Guix takes a novel approach to its package management. Mats Tage Axelsson guides you around it.

10+ mins read
Linux Format
February 2022

CLOUD SOVEREIGNTY

Jonni Bidwell reveals how Nextcloud has become the poster-child not just for self-hosting, but for how to be a sustainable, successful FOSS project.

6 mins read
Linux Format
February 2022

4MLinux 38.0

Any distro that’s survived for over a decade must be doing something right, but Mayank Sharma wasn’t prepared for what he saw inside this one…

3 mins read
Linux Format
February 2022

Calculate Linux 22

Jonni Bidwell was dubious about making Gentoo easy, but after careful calculation of this KDE Edition he’s all for the idea…

3 mins read
Linux Format
February 2022

COMBAT MALWARE!

Jonni Bidwell wants to turn the tide on ransomware in 2022. It appears he has his work cut out for him…

10+ mins read
Linux Format
February 2022

Display HAT Mini

Les Pounder thinks that Pimoroni’s latest display was designed for ants, or at least younger people with better eyesight than him.

3 mins read
Linux Format
February 2022

Easyspace web hosting

Mike Williams assesses a skilled UK host famous for its speed…

3 mins read
Linux Format
February 2022

DUAL-BOOT+ Booting multiple operating systems

Christian Cawley examines the various ways you can boot your Raspberry Pi, from installing an OS to multibooting.

10+ mins read
Linux Format
February 2022

Endless OS 4.0

Five minutes with the latest version of this distro and Mayank Sharma is reminded of the old adage: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

3 mins read
Linux Format
February 2022

Stellaris

Management hates anyone going anywhere, boldly or otherwise, so Phil Savage is in a space pickle as he’s only gone and taken over the galaxy.

3 mins read
Linux Format
February 2022
RELATED STORIES

Against Champagne Socialists

Why Bernie Sanders, Hasan Piker, and Elizabeth Warren should open their wallets before they open their mouths.

10+ mins read
Reason magazine
February 2022

Alexa, Why Are You Still Here?

Amazon is good at selling smart speakers but is struggling to keep users engaged.

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
December 27, 2021 - January 03, 2022 (Double Spread)

Artistic Advocates

Making sure musicians get a fair shake via Blockchain

6 mins read
Newsweek
December 24, 2021

JAPANESE TOURISTS DOCK AT INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

A Japanese billionaire and his producer rocketed to space on Wednesday and reached the International Space Station several hours later, the first visit by self-paying space tourists to the orbiting outpost in more than a decade.

1 min read
AppleMagazine
December 10, 2021

MERCEDES, STELLANTIS TO WORK WITH US FIRM ON NEW BATTERIES

Automakers Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis announced agreements with U.S. company Factorial Energy this week to help develop solid-state battery technology that they hope could make electric cars more attractive to a mass market.

1 min read
Techlife News
Techlife News #527

NYC AIMS TO BE FIRST TO REIN IN AI HIRING TOOLS

Job candidates rarely know when hidden artificial intelligence tools are rejecting their resumes or analyzing their video interviews. But New York City residents could soon get more say over the computers making behind-the-scenes decisions about their careers.

4 mins read
AppleMagazine
November 26, 2021

Hieronymus Grabstein – Monumentum

Our brain is organized so that it analyses and memorizes visual information faster than any text. A spectator is always curious to see what is left outside the camera’s view. There is hardly a better way to tell stories of people’s lives other than via visual imagery. Handicraft– from the beginning and up to the end of each operation. It is not an automated process but significant experience, expertise, and a bit of spontaneity and freedom of artistic creativity.

2 mins read
Lens Magazine
October 2021

ATTACKED BY TROLLS!

Fans swooned when Keanu Reeves went red-carpet official with age-appropriate girlfriend Alexandra Grant.

1 min read
Star
November 01, 2021

DAIMLER'S TRUCKS, LUXURY CARS TO GO THEIR SEPARATE WAYS

Daimler's truck and luxury car businesses are going their separate ways

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
Ocotber 08, 2021

Scene & Heard

BEHIND the SCENES!

2 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
September 13, 2021