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Open Source and the Open Road, Part 1

Filed under
Hardware
OSS

A new wave of really cool devices will soon do more than simply integrate your mobile gadgets with your automobile. Pairing your smartphone with your car's sound system and on-board navigation platform is already old hat. Car makers are now looking at how to expand that concept to enhance the notion of your car being treated as one big mobile device.

Choosing the operating platform for this new level of connected car functionality will be no easy task for OEMs. Low-end cars use 30 to 50 electronic control units (ECUs) embedded everywhere from the body, doors and dash, to the roof, trunk and seats. High-end cars stash even more ECUs in every available nook and cranny.

For example, high-end cars like the S-class Mercedes-Benz rely on more than 20 million lines of code. The number of coded lines will grow to over 300 million lines of software code once the connected car hits the highways.

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