The A to Z of QNX in Cars


Originally posted on the QNX Auto Blog


Over 26 fast facts, brought to you by the English alphabet

A is for Audi, one of the first automakers to use QNX technology in its vehicles. For more than 15 years, Audi has put its trust in QNX, in state-of-the-art systems like the Audi virtual cockpit and the MIB II modular infotainment system. A is also for QNX acoustics software, which enhances hands-free voice communications, eliminates “boom noise” created by fuel-saving techniques, and even helps automakers create signature sounds for their engines.

B is for Bentley, BMW, and Buick, and for their QNX-powered infotainment systems, which include BMW ConnectedDrive and Buick Intellilink.

C is for concept vehicles, including the latest QNX technology concept car, a modded Maserati Quattroporte GTS. The car integrates an array of technologies — including cameras, LiDAR, ultrasonic sensors, and specialized navigation engines — to show how QNX-based ADAS systems can simplify driving tasks, warn of possible collisions, and enhance driver awareness.

D is for the digital instrument clusters in vehicles from Alpha Romeo, Audi, GM, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Land Rover. These QNX-powered displays can reconfigure themselves on the fly, providing quick, convenient access to turn-by-turn directions, back-up video, incoming phone calls, and a host of other information.

E is for experience. QNX has served the automotive market since the late 1990s, working with car makers and tier one suppliers to create infotainment systems for tens of millions of vehicles. QNX has been at work in safety-critical industrial applications even longer — since the 1980s. This unique pedigree makes QNX perfectly suited for the next generation of in-vehicle systems, which will consolidate infotainment and safety-related functions on a single, cost-effective platform.

F is for Ford, which has chosen the QNX Neutrino OS for its new SYNC 3 infotainment system. The system will debut this summer in the 2016 Ford Escape and Ford Fiesta and will be one of the first infotainment systems to support both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

G is for GM and its QNX-based OnStar system, which is now available in almost all of the company’s vehicles. GM also uses QNX OS and acoustics technology in several infotainment systems, including the award-winning Chevy MyLink.

H is for hypervisor. By using the QNX Hypervisor, automotive developers can consolidate multiple OSs onto a single system-on-chip to reduce the cost, size, weight, and power consumption of their designs. The hypervisor can also simplify safety certification efforts by keeping safety-related and non-safety-related software components isolated from each other.

I is for the ISO 26262 standard for functional safety in road vehicles. The QNX OS for Automotive Safety has been certified to this standard, at Automotive Safety Integrity Level D — the highest level achievable. This certification makes the OS suitable for a wide variety of digital clusters, heads-up displays, and ADAS applications, from adaptive cruise control to pedestrian detection.

J is for Jeep. The QNX reference vehicle, based on a Jeep Wrangler, showcases what the QNX CAR Platform for Infotainment can do out of the box. In its latest iteration, the reference vehicle ups the ante with traffic sign detection, lane departure warnings, curve speed warnings, collision avoidance alerts, backup displays, and other ADAS features for enhancing driver awareness.

K is for Kia, which uses QNX technology in the infotainment and connectivity systems for several of its vehicles.

L is for LG, a long-time QNX customer that is using several QNX technologies to develop a new generation of infotainment systems, digital clusters, and ADAS systems for the global automotive market.

M is for Mercedes-Benz, which offers QNX-based infotainment systems in several of its vehicles, including the head unit and digital instrument cluster in the S Class Coupe. M is also for market share: according to IHS Automotive, QNX commands more than 50% of the infotainment software market.

N is for navigation. Thanks to the navigation framework in the QNX CAR Platform, automakers can integrate a rich variety of navigation solutions into their cars.

O is for the over-the-air update solution of the BlackBerry IoT Platform, which will help automakers cut maintenance costs, reduce expensive recalls, improve customer satisfaction, and keep vehicles up to date with compelling new features long after they have rolled off the assembly line.

P is for partnerships. When automotive companies choose QNX, they also tap into an incredibly rich partner ecosystem that provides infotainment apps, smartphone connectivity solutions, navigation engines, automotive processors, voice recognition engines, user interface tools, and other pre-integrated technologies. P is also for Porsche, which uses the QNX Neutrino OS in its head units, and for Porsche 911, which formed the basis of one of the first QNX concept cars.

Q is for the QNX CAR Platform for Infotainment, a comprehensive solution that pre-integrates partner technologies with road-proven QNX software to jump-start customer projects.

R is for the reliability that QNX OS technology brings to advanced driver assistance systems and other safety-related components in the vehicle — the same technology proven in space shuttles, nuclear plants, and medical devices.

S is for the security expertise and solutions that Certicom and QNX bring to automotive systems. S is also for the advanced smartphone integration of the QNX CAR Platform, which allows infotainment systems to support the latest brought-in solutions, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. S is also for the scalability of QNX technology, which allows customers to use a single software platform across all of their product lines, from high-volume economy vehicles to luxury models. And last, but not least, S is for the more than sixty million vehicles worldwide that use QNX technology. (S sure is a busy letter!)

T is for Toyota, which uses QNX technology in infotainment systems like Entune and Touch ‘n’ Go. T is also for tools: using the QNX Momentics Tool Suite, automotive developers can root out subtle bugs and optimize the performance of their sophisticated, multi-core systems.

U is for unified user interface. With QNX, automotive developers can choose from a rich set of user interface technologies, including Qt, HTML5, OpenGL ES, and third-party toolkits. Better yet, they can blend these various technologies on the same display, at the same time, for the ultimate in design flexibility.

V is for the Volkswagen vehicles, including the Touareg, Passat, Polo, Golf, and Golf GTI, that use the QNX Neutrino OS and QNX middleware technology in their infotainment systems.

W is for the QNX Wireless Framework, which brings smartphone-caliber connectivity to infotainment systems, telematics units, and a variety of other embedded devices. The framework abstracts the complexity of modem control, enabling developers to upgrade cellular and Wi-Fi hardware without having to rewrite their applications.

X, Y, and Z are for the 3D navigation solutions and the 3D APIs and partner toolkits supported by the QNX CAR Platform. I could show you many examples of these solutions in action, but my personal favorite is the QNX technology concept car based on a Bentley Continental GT. Because awesome.

Before you go… This post mentions a number of automotive customers, but please don’t consider it a complete list. I would have gotten them all in, but I ran out of letters!

This post was first published at the QNX Auto Blog. Visit QNX Auto to read the latest industry news and initiatives from our automotive experts.

About Paul Leroux

I’m a PR manager at BlackBerry, where I focus on IoT and all things QNX. In fact, I’ve been associated with QNX since 1989 – the same year that commercial dial-up Internet connections came to North America. I love photography, Twinkies, and Thelonius Monk, though not necessarily in that order. Follow me on Twitter: @QNX_Paul

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