Wednesday, August 1, 2007

10 automakers to jointly develop OS

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry will start developing jointly with 10 automakers an operating system for automotive electronics, it has been learned.

The decision will be announced this week, a ministry source said.

European auto makers are in the process of developing a commmon OS for automotive electronics.

Japanese companies, which have been developing their own operating systems separately, will begin joint development of an OS, aiming to create a global standard in this field.

The ministry will commission the task of developing the OS to JasPar--Japan Automotive Software Platform Architecture--a joint venture comprising leading automakers and auto-parts makers and, electronics firms, including Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., Honda R&D Co., Denso Corp. and Toshiba Corp.

The ministry plans to seek more than 1 billion yen in funding for the project in its budgetary request for fiscal 2008. The joint venture aims to have a prototype OS completed in fiscal 2009 and to market it in five to 10 years.

In an automobile, various electronics control devices are used, including those controlling fuel injection, brakes, air bags, power steering and power windows. An OS is the basic software for operating these devices.

OSEK, the operating system developed by German firm Bosch, the world's leading auto-parts maker, is effectively the automotive version of Windows, with about 70 percent of the world market share.

Meanwhile, BMW, DaimlerChrysler and other European automakers are jointly developing a next-generation OS and are expected to complete a prototype in 2008.

While the number of electronic control devices installed in a typical automobile stood at about five in the 1980s, more than 30 such devices are installed now, with the number exceeding 100 for some luxury models.

The cost of electronic and electrical parts is said to account for about 20 percent of the overall production cost of an automobile. For a hybrid-type model, which requires a complex control system to switch the power source back and forth from the engine to a motor, electronic and electrical parts account for nearly 50 percent of the production cost.

No comments: