Despite a slow start, Linux is all set to lead the automotive infotainment operating system (OS) market in 2020 surpassing Microsoft and BlackBerry. As the auto industry seeks an OS platform in which it can control direction and features, it is attracted by the advantages offered by Linux for some obvious reasons. Also, proprietary OS platforms don’t allow the auto industry to control and set its own system architecture.
Key factors behind broad adoption of the OS among car manufacturers include open-source momentum, future cost savings advantages and availability from multiple suppliers at every level in the software hierarchy.
Global sales of the Linux OS in automotive are likely to touch 53.7 million units in 2020, up from less than 1 million in 2013, according to IHS Automotive, driven by Polk. The fast growth will allow Linux to overtake its chief rivals Microsoft and QNX from BlackBerry.
“The market for automotive infotainment operating systems represents a major opportunity for software vendors, with platform sales climbing to nearly 130 million units in 2020—about the size of the global PC market in 1999,” said Egil Juliussen, research director for IHS Automotive.
Juliussen added, “Over the long term, Linux will take the lead in this burgeoning market, as auto manufacturers and their suppliers are attracted by the advantages of the OS.”
Among car manufacturers GM is currently the volume leader, with most Cadillac models now using Linux in their CUE system. Similar Linux-based head units are also arriving or will be deployed on Buick, GMC, Chevrolet and Opel models.
While there are many flavors of Linux, the GENIVI version is likely to lead the market with the large number of automakers committed to using the platform.