An interesting picture of the automotive future has been described by Michelle Krebs at Readers Digest starting with the a description of the automotive everyday live in 2020. The picture looks very much the same as others, who have taken a glance into the crystal ball. Sooner or later, we all expect the car to be personalized and able to find its way autonomously.
Different to others, Krebs asks so questions, the automobile industry doesn’t consider very often within “cheery visions” – that is, who or what will provide all the energy needed. Gasoline is getting more and more expensive (see Current Gas Prices and Price Histroy), though new alternatives need to be found. According to most expertises, sooner or later, hydrogen will replace gasoline as the number one resource for energy in vehicular traffic. Current trends of German car production confirm the consumers search for power alternatives. The following chart shows the trends in German automobile production (Data Source: Daten zur Automobilwirtschaft, Ausgabe 2008, Verband der Automobilindustrie) concerning energy resources.

Next to new ways to build car engines (hybrid, electric, or hydrogen engines) to satisfy the growing power demand in individual traffic, I believe that managing traffic in a smarter way should be mentioned much more often when discussing questions of energy consumption in vehicular traffic.


According to editor, the first edition Infotainment Systems Report provides an in-depth look at the evolving area of Vehicle Infotainement Systems in automotive industry. Areas covered include head units, bluetooth, satellite, radio, TV, rear seat entertainment, navigation, in-vehicle computing, hdd, cameras, networking, telematics and semiconductors.

The second major section of the report includes company profiles of the world’s leading infotainment system suppliers. Each profile concisely details management, products, plants and sales as well as providing analysis on strategy, product development, and offering an evaluation of the company’s prospects.

For further information including a detailed table of contents, look up Bharat Book Bureau. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to take a look into the report. Does anyone has? Is it its 716 British Pounds worth?

There are a few video interview excerpts from various key players (Intel, QNX Software Systems, Windriver, and Panasonic) about the growing excitement on next generation infotainment systems inside vehicles.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

This article is still a stub, so don’t take it too seriously 😉

I have been thinking about the following question:

If we equip our cars of the future with additional car electonics and communication equipment (which for sure consumes some additional power and consequently additional fuel) and add some smart traffic flow applications on top – which provide you with a smoother ride and claim a less overall fuel consumption – how good do they have to be to make you smile on your next trip to the gas station?

I see a metric here for determining the quality of such applications: Liters per 100 kilometers (well, there are for sure other metrices out there which also play a role: average driver stress reduction per hour, traffic jam length reduction per day, number of vehicle generated deaths per year – to name just a few that pop into mind – but for now let’s face on our precious environment).

If your application for traffic flow increases the fuel consumption and the CO2 production because you need a small mainframe in your vehicle to run the calculations – should you rethink if you really want to do this?

Soon I want to post some hard numbers here. Because the additional power consumption should be equally divided along all applications running on your vehicular PC. And there is still the power needed for manufacturing and recycling your hardware, which should not be left out of the equation.

I see a matrix here (right now filled with bogus information):

Application Savings
Speed advisory application 0.5 liters / 100 km
Turning off air conditioning 0.5 liters / 100 km

Let’s see, when I find the time for that… HELP! 🙂

Today the Telematics Detroit 2008 ended and Intel and Wind River announced to slap together a hard-/ softwareplattform for in-car usage and publish it at Sporting an Intel Atom processor and a software package for all your multimedia needs. It is not another car multimedia PC, but claims to be integrated with CAN and MOST bus systems.

Could this be a common ground for all us Linux developers out there who want to provide automotive software for a fully specified platform? This could partially be decided by the community at Moblin.

Be sure to check out the Moblin promotional video over at If you liked the U-2010 video, this is your poison too.


  1. heise online, “Wind River und Intel kooperieren: Open Source für den Automobilsektor”, May 22. 2008,–/meldung/108268/from/rss09
  2., “Homepage”, May 22. 2008,
  3., “What if…”, May 22. 2008,
  4., “In-Vehicle Infotainment Community – Community Roadmap”, May 22. 2008,

The “Ubiquitous IP-Centric Government & Enterprise Next Generation Networks – Vision 2010” or U-2010 Integrated Research Project (5. and 6. EU-Call) has some very nices movies about the “Usage of mobile technologies in rescue scenarios”.

Check them out under (part 1-3).


  1. U-2010 Research Project, “Usage of mobile technologies in rescue scenarios
    (RUNES Video Phase 1 – Normal)”, May 22. 2008,

Speech recognition in the vehicle (and other noisy environments ) has always been a topic. The HIWIRE (Human Input That Works In Real Environments) project devoted itself to this question for planes with fixed and mobile equipment. Maybe some of the results are also interesting for vehicular environments. See for yourself at the project website


  1. HIWIRE project, “Homepage”, November 15. 2007,