Brussels / 2 & 3 February 2013


Interview: Jeremiah Foster:
Vroom! Free Software in your car

Jeremiah Foster will give a talk about Vroom! Free Software in your car at FOSDEM 2013

Q: Could you briefly introduce yourself?

I’m an American, born in Boston, who moved to Sweden and has lived in Europe for more than a decade. I work for a company called Pelagicore that focuses on designing great Open Source Automotive software.

Q: What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic?

The talk is going to be about Free Software in the automotive sector. This topic interests me because while we understand that Free Software is becoming more popular, we might not know that it is becoming ubiquitous. Special purpose computers are more and more running Free Software and there are a number of implications, positive and negative, that we need to know as we become users and developers of these new specialized systems.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish by giving this talk? What do you expect?

I hope to familiarize users with Free Software in automotive and I hope to inspire developers to get more involved.

Q: What are the most important challenges for in-vehicle infotainment systems and how is the GENIVI Alliance tackling them?

There are a number of challenges, many of them quite important. A quick list of the highest priorities might be:

GENIVI is directly addressing cost and ecosystem and also working hard to provide understanding around licensing. GENIVI has a fairly comprehensive approach towards Free Software, or perhaps Open Source, in IVI systems.

Q: The GENIVI Alliance, founded in 2009, is still quite young. What did it accomplish in those four years and what are the major plans in the coming years?

There are a number of significant accomplishments, not least the establishment of the Alliance itself. A short list might include:

Q: Automakers tend to be risk adverse, and open source software with its decentralized development model and innovative goals doesn’t seem to fit in that picture. How does the GENIVI Alliance marry these two worlds?

Automakers are risk adverse not least because safety is the highest priority. They also have a lot of market pressure to innovate and bring new mobile functionality to the car. I think largely the industry has been quite responsible in balancing connectivity and safety, but it is a challenge to marry the two worlds.

Q: Can you give some examples of already existing GENIVI compliant products for end users?

Ubuntu IVI is one good example. Tizen IVI is also GENIVI Compliant. Also, I’ve created a Debian project called Debian Automotive to bring Debian into GENIVI compliance. Contributors are welcome!

Q: Have you enjoyed previous FOSDEM editions?

Yes! I love FOSDEM! Thank you for your excellent work! I’ve been attending since at least 2005 although I sometimes miss a year. 2013 will be my fourth or fifth Fosdem.

Creative Commons License
Creative Commons License

This interview is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Belgium License.