Whitepapers

Unlocking Linux instrument cluster potential

Cluster design and development has seen an explosion in terms of innovation and adoption of multiple technologies and experimentation on different device and technology integrations. However, the safety aspect of clusters and in-car infotainment has also been thrown into sharp relief, especially after the Fiat Chrysler hacking and subsequent recall of over 1.4 million vehicles.

Such a product recall has set Fiat Chrysler back by billions, and will most certainly result in ripple effects reaching other places that seemed reasonably secure. One of the most affected areas is perhaps experiments on using open source platforms like Linux in sub-systems such as Infotainment Head Units and Instrument Clusters. Due to the economic impact of this massive recall, the excitement about Android for Automobiles, as well as the open source projects underway for instrument and car computer development, has been lackluster.

We at QuEST Global, however, believe that there is still a significant potential in terms of end-user benefit if we are able to get a Linux cluster compliant to ISO 26262 standards. In this paper, we explore some of the challenges to be overcome during development from scratch, or in porting of a cluster based on a proprietary OS, to a Linux kernel. We also outline some possible approaches to overcoming these challenges, effectively as well as cost efficiently.

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