Software developer Elektrobit Corp. will collaborate with Freescale Semiconductor Inc. and QNX Software Systems Ltd. to create reconfigurable digital instrument clusters for the auto industry, the companies said this week.
The project aims to allow an automaker, based on the preferences of its target buyer, to set up the display of instrument-gauge data, such as speed and rpm, and infotainment data, such as navigation maps or projections from a rear-view camera.
In addition, consumers could customize their instrument panels to a limited degree, adjusting the pattern, color or font.
A customer also could enable or disable certain features. For example, one feature is a speed warning alert system favored by parents of teenage drivers. It warns the driver if the car goes faster than a specified speed. But the driver can turn the device on and off.
Automakers also will be able to design and engineer digital instrument clusters with 2- and 3-D graphics, video, voice recognition and other features.
Elektrobit, of Oulu, Finland, is in talks with several automakers and expects one or more of them to be using the software by year end.
The products will consist of Elektrobit software, Freescale processors and QNX real-time operating systems and graphic drivers.
Freescale, of Austin, Texas, is the former semiconductor operation of Motorola Inc.
QNX Software Systems, of Ottawa, Ontario, is a subsidiary of Research in Motion Ltd., maker of the BlackBerry smart phone.
QNX says its communications operating system, QNX Neutrino RTOS, is installed on 20 million vehicles, including General Motors vehicles with OnStar technology. The product was launched eight years ago.
Other automotive customers are Acura, Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daewoo, Hyundai Mobis, Land Rover, Porsche, Renault-Samsung and Saab.