Red Hat and General Motors Collaborate to Accelerate Software-Defined Vehicles Development

Raleigh, USA – Red Hat, Inc, the world’s leading provider of open-source solutions, and General Motors recently announced a collaboration to accelerate the development of software-defined vehicles at the edge. The companies expect to expand an innovation ecosystem around the Red Hat In-Vehicle Operating System, which provides a functional-safety certified Linux operating system foundation for GM’s Ultifi software platform’s ongoing evolution.

The collaboration between Red Hat and GM marks a watershed moment in the convergence of the transportation and technology industries, with Red Hat’s cloud-native, enterprise-grade open source operating system hastening the development of GM’s software-defined vehicle programs following Ultifi’s initial release. This will allow both companies to responsibly provide more valuable features to customers in a fraction of the typical development time.

Due to critical safety priorities, in-vehicle software systems are complex and require high levels of cybersecurity protection and stringent certifications. In current systems, these robust requirements frequently lengthen the development process and complicate vehicle software updates, with each update necessitating recertification. GM and Red Hat intend to simplify and increase the frequency of these complex vehicle updates by incorporating continuous functional-safety certification into the Ultifi platform, with Red Hat In-Vehicle Operating System pioneering the continuous certification approach, which was announced last year.

The integrated software is designed to support a wide range of in-vehicle safety and non-safety applications, such as infotainment, advanced driver assistance systems, body control, and connectivity. Through standardization with open source Linux and cloud-native technologies, the transportation industry can benefit from faster innovation and greater sustainability. Common standards can aid in increasing software reuse and achieving a more scalable design process, allowing GM to devote more resources to new personalized in-cabin experiences, vehicle modes, and other features that customers will appreciate.

GM and Red Hat hope to achieve the following goals with the integration of the Red Hat In-Vehicle Operating System into the Ultifi platform:

  • Reduced costs from software consolidation and reuse across a common platform
  • Improved development cycle for faster time-to-market with new customer features and software improvements
  • Continuous functional safety certification for safety-related systems
  • Development of new services, business models, and revenue streams

Red Hat will help with the phased rollout of Ultifi, GM’s end-to-end vehicle software platform that will be available in 2023. Ultifi will enable more frequent and seamless over-the-air delivery of software-defined features, apps, and services to customers. To accomplish this, the platform decouples application software from hardware and provides application program interfaces for software development.

Creating a more flexible architecture opens the door to more cloud-based services, faster software development, and new value for customers while maintaining basic hardware controls.

Ultifi, as a Linux-based system, is intended to be widely usable by GM developers, suppliers, and the developer community at large. Using Linux allows skilled talent from a variety of industries to quickly ramp up and boost innovation through non-traditional thinking. Vehicle software, with its numerous sensors and large amounts of anonymized data, presents a unique and exciting opportunity for developers to work beyond the limitations of typical consumer smart devices. Indeed, authorized third-party developers who meet strict security, safety, and privacy standards will be granted access to Ultifi to directly benefit GM customers.

The automotive industry is at a crossroads as consumers consider what the future of their driving experience might look like. Red Hat and GM, as open source and automotive leaders, are poised to help define and connect the automotive ecosystem that will drive solutions for next-generation vehicles. Bringing Red Hat In-Vehicle Operating System to the transportation industry better prepares automakers to embrace rapid, open-source innovation now and in the future.

Francis Chow, Vice President and General Manager, In-Vehicle Operating System and Edge, Red Hat, stated, “With millions of lines of code sustaining critical systems like driver assistance, fuel economy, and more, modern vehicles are more like mobile high-performance computers than the cars of the past. The time to innovate is now. These new vehicles give our industries a chance to create a common open platform without sacrificing functional safety. By collaborating with GM on the Red Hat In-Vehicle Operating System, we intend to bring the era of open source to the automotive world, benefiting automakers, ecosystem partners, and consumers.” 

Against this backdrop, Scott Miller, Vice President, Software Defined Vehicle and Operating System, General Motors, commented, “General Motors is now a platform company and working with Red Hat is a critical element in advancing our Ultifi software development. Incorporating the company’s expertise in open source solutions and enterprise networks will pay dividends as we aim to provide the most developer-friendly software platform in the industry. With Red Hat’s operating system as a core enabler of Ultifi’s capabilities, the opportunity for innovation becomes limitless.”

In a similar vein, Alex Oyler, director, North America, SBD Automotive, asserted, “While the automotive industry has been trying to find ways to leverage the open-source community for the past decade, the rise of the software-defined vehicle signifies their conjunction. The massive addressable domain of in-vehicle and edge software in modern vehicles necessitates an ecosystem-driven approach to reduce software development costs for automakers, nearly half of which is dedicated towards maintenance and triage. At the same time, maintaining strict compliance with safety standards mandates high levels of assurance in the underlying software. This partnership typifies the type of innovation possible when tech and automotive stalwarts combine their core experiences to create novel solutions that form the foundation of the software-defined vehicle.”

Image Source:  Red Hat, Inc

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