Software which enables the screen of your phone to pop up on the screen in your car dashboard has been ported to the (relatively) ancient systems used by automobile manufacturers.
The Nucleus operating system was once popular in mobes, a dozen or so years ago, and the car industry is still using it. So, Cambridge tech company RealVNC has lifted the gull-wing doors, jumped into its DeLorean DMC-12, and ported its mobe software to Nucleus.
The software comes from darling of the motor industry Mentor Graphics, and the RealVNC port looks to the far distant present with support for the whole Mentor Graphics tool chain, which means Android and Linux.
This capability has been enabled through pre-integration work between the two companies, and is part of Mentor Graphics’ advanced automotive Linux platform solution.
The deal will be announced at the TU Automotive conference in Detroit on 3 June.
A similar announcement is expected between RealVNC and Bluetooth-experts CSR which builds lots of chips to go into cars.
The RealVNC software is closely coupled to the MirrorLink software in smartphones and tablets designed to talk to in-car infotainment systems.
Matching a display on a mobe to that within an automobile isn’t particularly straightforward, as for a start the car screen is unlikely to be much higher resolution than 800x600, and small, and it might not even be rectangular.
The server software in the phone handles this as best it can. The car will tell the phone what it’s got – including hard buttons which might be substituted for the touch screen – and the phone software sends over whatever the car can handle. ®