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Automotive Grade Linux group releases Tizen-based IVI stack

Jun 30, 2014 — by Eric Brown 3,246 views

The Linux Foundation released a Tizen-based Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) stack for in-vehicle infotainment, with the UI written in HTML5 and JavaScript.

We’ve seen Tizen-based smartwatches and phones, among other form-factors. Now Tizen is heading for the car. The Linux Foundation’s Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) project released its first open source IVI stack based on the Tizen IVI version of the Linux-based operating system.

AGL home page (left) and browser
(click images to enlarge)

AGL is a fully open automotive platform, “allowing automakers to leverage a growing software stack based on Linux while retaining the ability to create their own branded user experience,” says the Linux Foundation’s AGL. No hardware reference platform was mentioned, and the stack is said to support multiple hardware architectures.

AGL Dashboard (left) and Google Maps app
(click images to enlarge)

AGL’s Tizen IVI web runtime interfaces with the vehicle through plugins that communicate with vehicle buses via the Automotive Message Broker (AMB). The stack adds an AGL Reference Platform User Experience atop Tizen IVI, featuring several applications developed in HTML5 and JavaScript. Currently, the web runtime uses Webkit, but in the coming months Tizen will migrate to Crosswalk, described as a faster, more modern web runtime environment based on Chrome and Blink.

Key AGL UI components include:


  • Home screen
  • Dashboard
  • Google Maps
  • HVAC
  • Media playback
  • News reader (AppCarousel)
  • Audio controls
  • Bluetooth phone
  • Smart Device Link integration

A Design Requirements Document (DRD) providing descriptions, use cases, HMI flows, graphical assets, and architecture diagrams, is available for each component. The DRDs, as well as sample code and other documentation, are posted on the AGL wiki. AGL Expert Groups are available for advice on topics including displays, DRM, automotive networking, and security.

AGL HVAC (left) and media player
(click images to enlarge)

At last November’s Tizen conference, it was revealed that Toyota and Jaguar/Land Rover have both been working on Tizen-based IVI systems based on AGL. Automotive chipmaker Renesas, which signed on in May with the Linux Foundation as a Gold member, is also combining AGL technology with its R-Car system-on-chips.

Several dozen other car manufacturers, integrators, chipmakers, and software firms are listed as members, although it’s unclear how many will actually use the AGL stack. Other carmakers include Hyundai and Nissan, while chipmakers include Texas Instruments, Nvidia, Samsung, and Intel.

Last month, Intel announced its own Tizen-based IVI platform said to be “aligned” with AGL, but not fully compliant with it. The Intel In-Vehicle Solutions (IIVS) platform, which combines IVI with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) features, will eventually migrate to semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles, says Intel. The IIVS kit will be based on the Intel Atom E3800 SoC via a computer-on-module called the CM1050. It also includes a chassis stocked with connectivity, storage, and other components.

AGL and IIVS are related to, but are also somewhat competitive with the GENIVI Foundation’s older, more comprehensive open source IVI spec. Other standardization efforts include Google’s newly announced Android Auto software platform, the first release from its previously announced Open Automotive Alliance, which counts Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai, and Nvidia among its members. However, Android Auto is not a full-blown IVI stack, but rather a standardized way to connect Android apps and services in the car somewhat similar to MirrorLink or Apple’s CarPlay.

“Collaborating within the AGL community helps the industry avoid fragmentation that can waste time and R&D resources that could be put to better use innovating on safety and reliability for drivers,” stated Rudolf Strief, director of embedded solutions, The Linux Foundation.

“Openness and collaboration are key to accelerating the development of a common, standard automotive platform so the industry can more quickly achieve its vision of delivering the connected car,” stated Dan Cauchy, general manager of automotive, the Linux Foundation.

Further information

Automotive Grade Linux 1.0 is free for downloading from the AGL website, hosted at the Linux Foundation. More information may be found in the AGL wiki. A slide show, which includes the above screens and several more, may be found at the AGL Flickr page.

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