01.06.19

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Driven by Freedom or Just by Linux?

Posted in GNU/Linux at 8:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tractor

Summary: Much focus or attention is being given to the role of Linux inside cars; almost nobody is willing to talk about what that means for the rights (civil/human rights) of drivers

“It’s a Linux-powered car world,” SJVN wrote last week, alluding to the press release [1] which was then noted by Slashdot [2] and again by Slashdot in relation to SJVN’s article [3] (that was last night). This hasn’t received much press attention; media focused on Hyundai [4,5].

“People no longer own their vehicles (which they paid for) and drivers aren’t in control of the cars they drive.”There’s much to be said about the role of GNU and Linux inside cars, including the AGL’s Zemlin-centric approach, which seems to help companies like Amazon put listening devices inside cars (Alexa).

Cars in general suffer from freedom deficit, especially computerised cars. It only gets worse over time. People no longer own their vehicles (which they paid for) and drivers aren’t in control of the cars they drive. Some vehicles, notably tractors, cannot be legally repaired by their owners (it’s akin to DRM and it’s helping the maker/seller monopolise maintenance). Some can be taken over remotely or take control away from the drivers (this aspect received more media attention after truck attacks). Nowadays a lot of cars are used for constantly tracking (surveillance) of one’s location, not just by scanning licence plates but also by tracking devices on the panel (or near the panel, e.g. a mobile phone). The Linux Foundation seems happy enough to help sneak listening devices (which constantly record everyone in the car and send that to surveillance companies that sell the data and hand it over to the authorities). Insurance companies could not be happier and marketing firms would gladly ‘monetise’ conversations inside cars. This is one among many aspects which has us concerned about the Linux Foundation taking corporate cash from truly unethical companies. GNU/Linux domination in automobiles is definitely good news, but will that usher in freedom or instead be accompanied by Trojan horses?

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Hyundai Advances Connected Car Technologies and Open Source Collaboration by Joining Automotive Grade Linux and the Linux Foundation

    Automotive Grade Linux, a collaborative cross-industry effort developing an open platform for the connected car, has announced that Hyundai has joined Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) and the Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source.

    “Hyundai has been active in open source for years, and their experience will benefit the entire AGL community,” said Dan Cauchy, Executive Director of Automotive Grade Linux at the Linux Foundation. “This is a significant milestone for us, as the rapid growth of AGL proves that automakers are realizing the business value that open source and shared software development can provide. We look forward to working with Hyundai as we continue on our path to develop open source solutions for all in-vehicle technology.”

    AGL is an open source project at the Linux Foundation that is changing the way automotive manufacturers build software. More than 140 members are working together to develop a common platform that can serve as the de facto industry standard. Adopting an open platform across the industry enables automakers and suppliers to share and reuse the same code base, which reduces development costs, decreases time-to-market for new products and reduces fragmentation across the industry.

  2. Hyundai Joins the Linux Foundation To Embrace AGL’s Open Source Connected Car Tech

    According to a case study published by AGL, a connected car uses some 100 million lines of code, which is about 11 times more than the number that went into the F-35 fighter jet. Getting on AGL’s bandwagon would also help Hyundai speed up development of its in-car technologies.

  3. Linux For Cars: Tesla Isn’t The Only Automaker Running Linux Under the Hood

    While some companies, like Tesla, run their own homebrew Linux distros, most rely on Automotive Grade Linux (AGL). AGL is a collaborative cross-industry effort developing an open platform for connected cars with over 140 members… Its membership includes Audi, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Mercedes, Suzuki, and the world’s biggest automobile company: Toyota. Why? “Automakers are becoming software companies, and just like in the tech industry, they are realizing that open source is the way forward,” said Dan Cauchy, AGL’s executive director, in a statement.

  4. Hyundai joins the Linux Foundation to embrace AGL’s open source connected car technologies

    Hyundai has become the latest car company to explore serious open source alternatives for developing its in-car services. Ahead of CES 2019, the South Korean automotive giant today announced that it has joined the Linux Foundation and the nonprofit’s seven-year-old Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) effort as it looks to contribute to — and reap benefit from — software developed by over 140 companies.

    The announcement underscores the growing popularity of AGL, which has attracted dozens of car manufacturers and other companies in recent years. Members of AGL, which include Toyota, Ford, Honda, Suzuki, Intel, Nvidia, ARM, and LG, work in tandem to develop open source software for infotainment, telematics, and instrument cluster applications.

  5. Hyundai Joins Automotive Grade Linux and the Linux Foundation

    According to a recent announcement, Hyundai has joined Automotive Grade Linux, a collaborative cross-industry effort developing an open platform for the connected car, and the Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source.

    “Hyundai has been active in open source for years, and their experience will benefit the entire AGL community,” said Dan Cauchy, Executive Director of Automotive Grade Linux at the Linux Foundation. “This is a significant milestone for us, as the rapid growth of AGL proves that automakers are realizing the business value that open source and shared software development can provide. We look forward to working with Hyundai as we continue on our path to develop open source solutions for all in-vehicle technology.”

    AGL is an open source project at the Linux Foundation that is changing the way automotive manufacturers build software. More than 140 members are working together to develop a common platform that can serve as the de facto industry standard. Adopting an open platform across the industry enables automakers and suppliers to share and reuse the same code base, which reduces development costs, decreases time-to-market for new products and reduces fragmentation across the industry.

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