Can Open Source Solve Car-Tech Problems?

With infotainment software changing how automobiles are designed and marketed, today’s cars have become full-fledged computers with wheels. Not all software is equal, however, and lines are being drawn in a new battle of automotive operating systems.

The schism in this skirmish is between tried-and-true, traditional proprietary software systems that are less flexible and the emergence of “open source,” an unproven approach that could foster more rapid innovation. Until now, automakers have worked with a few select vendors such as Microsoft (which owns MSN) and QNX to develop software for specific vehicle lines.