Toyota joins the Linux Foundation, find out why

By on July 6, 2011, 8:00 PM

Toyota has joined the The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, as a Gold member. Why exactly is a car company joining the Linux Foundation? Well, it turns out both believe Linux should power your next vehicle.

The Linux Foundation insists that consumers are starting to expect the same connectivity in their cars as they now get in their homes and offices. This ranges from dashboard computing to In-Vehicle-Infotainment (IVI). In other words, automobiles are becoming the latest wireless (mobile!) devices.

Toyota argues the Linux operating system provides a common platform that helps connect the world's network of devices, including cars. The Linux Foundation figures that because it is an open source operating system, Linux provides automakers and their partners the flexibility they require to quickly bring to market the latest technology features.

In short, Linux isn't just satisfied with powering PCs and smartphones. It wants to go power cars too. Queue the jokes about open source and car crashes.

"Linux gives us the flexibility and technology maturity we require to evolve our In-Vehicle-Infotainment and communications systems to address the expectations of our customers," Kenichi Murata, Project General Manager of Electronics Development at Toyota, said in a statement. "The Linux Foundation provides us with a neutral forum in which we can collaborate with the world's leading technology companies on open innovation that accelerates that evolution."

"We are very pleased to welcome Toyota to The Linux Foundation. The company's leadership and proven innovation will bring important contributions to the advancement of Linux," Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation, said in a statement. "Toyota's investment in Linux is a testament to the ubiquity of the operating system and its ability to support the latest market requirements."

Three months ago, the Linux Foundation declared itself victorious in its software war with Microsoft. The organization stated that in every category but the desktop, Linux, in one form or another, is beating Microsoft's offerings. That means servers, smartphones, tablets, and so on. The organization didn't say anything about cars then, and Microsoft's software is in a fair number of vehicles. It looks like Toyota wants to help Linux fight Microsoft in yet another market.




User Comments: 25

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Guest said:

Better then letting Windows handle your ABS and Crash sensing technologies. The damn thing would BSOD as you're going uphill and car will roll back.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Guest said:

Better then letting Windows handle your ABS and Crash sensing technologies. The damn thing would BSOD as you're going uphill and car will roll back.

Maybe its time to stop using XP on your 10 year old Dell, and get with the times.

BrianUMR said:

When was the last time someone had a BSOD? It has been a really really long time for me. Last problems I had was bad caps so it didn't matter if I was in BIOS, windows, linux or you name it. My android phone which is kind of linux seems to reboot at a pretty good rate.

Guest said:

Next thing you'll see is someone driving around in a Toyota vehicle hacking people's wireless networks...

PinothyJ said:

BrianUMR said:

When was the last time someone had a BSOD? It has been a really really long time for me. Last problems I had was bad caps so it didn't matter if I was in BIOS, windows, linux or you name it. My android phone which is kind of linux seems to reboot at a pretty good rate.

Well BSoD is a problem between a hardware device on your computer and the software running it so would it be more the problem fo the driver and hardware manufacturers than Windows?

Just saying...

Guest said:

Linux happens to be used everywhere if longer uptime is needed. Rebooting every few days for patches isn't good. Unplugging the battery of your car/laptop would be/is "featured" with M$ Windows.

and, just to mention, Linux is being used in far more than pc and phones. How about NAS, SAN, 98% of the network appliances... Pretty much anywhere rebooting in under 5 years is not desired.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

pinothyj said:

BrianUMR said:

When was the last time someone had a BSOD? It has been a really really long time for me. Last problems I had was bad caps so it didn't matter if I was in BIOS, windows, linux or you name it. My android phone which is kind of linux seems to reboot at a pretty good rate.

Well BSoD is a problem between a hardware device on your computer and the software running it so would it be more the problem fo the driver and hardware manufacturers than Windows?

Just saying...

I've seen a BSOD twice in my recent memory on Windows 7, one time I was running Fallout 3 with a sick amount of mods, weather, etc, and my video crashed, another time I was streaming a 12 GB mkv file from another computer on my network. I consider both to be rather extreme cases that taxed my system.

Besides this, no problems whatsoever.

People who complain about BSODs in 2011 either need to retire their 10 year old beige box or need to learn how to use a computer.

Det Det said:

Well, Windows (especially 7) is not as bad as a lot of the linux folks say and Linux is not as bad as lot of the Windows folks say. I've never had a BSOD since the early days of Windows Vista and my linux boxes (Arch on my PC or Android on my Desire Z) haven't had kernel panics either (unless I've done some funny toying around myself).

I actually use Windows (7) quite a lot these days even though I _know_ my Arch/linux is superior in many aspects. I just usually begin the day with firing up some games then am too lazy to reboot to Arch. Why should I anyway. Windows works just fine (although I'm a bit worried about the size of my registry - no matter how much I clean it it still has grown all the way up to something like 110M alltogether).

BrianUMR, if your Android "reboots at a pretty good rate" then it's a really bad device (low-end or otherwise faulty). If it's not the hardware it can be caused by some external software too. Rebooting like that shouldn't happen and it's not something "normal for Android because it's linux and linux sucks".

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

+1 gailo & Brian

Although I must admit I have had BSODs on this DV6 (which I bought about 5-6 weeks ago) but they were due to some issues with Connectify & Wireless adapter on this notebook. Hence the OS had nothing to do with the issue.

Guest said:

"Rebooting every few days for patches isn't good."

Someone needs to get outside more, and not sit in front of their computer 24/7.

Guest said:

Good news for Linux. :)

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

I can't imagine full PC's powered by linux OS in cars. Shouldn't you be driving? It's impressive what car batteries can power though. Toyota's will have higher insurance because they "crash" twice as much! jk =p

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think it's funny at how one of the most expensive things people buy is now being packaged with free-ware. Too bad the rest of the car couldn't be built with free merchandise!

Leeky Leeky said:

When was the last time someone had a BSOD? It has been a really really long time for me.

I got them quite regularly with my last build - running Windows 7 Pro x64. That was a couple of months ago, before it torched itself!

Linux never had an issue running on the same hardware though!

I think it's funny at how one of the most expensive things people buy is now being packaged with free-ware. Too bad the rest of the car couldn't be built with free merchandise!

That "freeware" powers the majority of the servers online - not bad for something free hey.... Linux is a considerably better option when running custom software, or a custom OS for a particular purpose.

Microsoft has come a long way since XP, but I still wouldn't want it having anything to do with the safety systems in my car. It just isn't made for that.

Det Det said:

xclusiveitalian said:

I can't imagine full PC's powered by linux OS in cars. Shouldn't you be driving? It's impressive what car batteries can power though. Toyota's will have higher insurance because they "crash" twice as much! jk =p

I didn't really understand this but if you think linux crashes more often than Windows then you just don't know about stuff.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

Det said:

xclusiveitalian said:

I can't imagine full PC's powered by linux OS in cars. Shouldn't you be driving? It's impressive what car batteries can power though. Toyota's will have higher insurance because they "crash" twice as much! jk =p

I didn't really understand this but if you think linux crashes more often than Windows then you just don't know about stuff.

It was just a joke, i know Linux is more stable than Windows =p I meant it as since it's not just the car crashing but the OS as-well(if it did) than you would have 2 crashes...double the insurance =p

Guest said:

old guy at work got B.S.O.D the other day

another disgruntled windows user

posted using Linux OS

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Leeky said:

Linux never had an issue running on the same hardware though!

Desktop Linux is a lot less compatible with new PC hardware than Windows. I don't think any Linux user would dispute that.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

ET3D said:

Leeky said:

Linux never had an issue running on the same hardware though!

Desktop Linux is a lot less compatible with new PC hardware than Windows. I don't think any Linux user would dispute that.

The only main stream part I have ever had troubles with using Linux is wireless cards. I really wish there was better support for certain chipsets. I know its not necessarily Linux's fault since it seems some of the wireless chip manufactures don't want to play with Linux, but it still frustrating.

Everything else I have used in a standard desktop/laptop with Linux on it has worked fine, and in many cases worked w/o me having to do anything.

I know Windows7 has gotten a lot better about driver issues (always hated driver hunting on XP, especially the for the Ethernet card), and finding at least generic drivers through the updates, but I still hate driver hunting.

As for Linux in my car I just view it as one more thing that can break and screw me over in a vehicle. I prefer my cars to be simpler and easier to work on.

Leeky Leeky said:

Desktop Linux is a lot less compatible with new PC hardware than Windows. I don't think any Linux user would dispute that.

I would, with the exception of wireless devices, Linux is generally in my experiences much better at identifying, and automatically configuring hardware I throw at it.

Two area's let down sometimes though are GPU's and Wireless as previously mentioned. Still, Window's isn't much better at GPU configuration without the drivers (which is all Linux also needs) and wireless sometimes needs them in Windows as well.

So all in all, its pretty even these days, and Linux is certainly no worse than Windows in those respects. I dare say Linux has a much greater level of compatibility when you consider legacy hardware as well.

lmike6453 said:

Great now you can watch porn as you drive as an alternative to road head.

Leeky Leeky said:

Great now you can watch porn as you drive as an alternative to road head.

Or be driving, getting road head, whilst watching porn with the gf/wife/female companion!

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Or be driving, getting road head, whilst watching porn with the gf/wife/female companion!

Sounds like a very very dangerous plan ............ for others, who are unfortunate enough to be on the same road

Leeky Leeky said:

Sounds like a very very dangerous plan ............ for others, who are unfortunate enough to be on the same road

Depends how straight the road is!

KBerger said:

Will there be a new distro I wonder? Like Toyota Linux or something

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