Eclipse in driving seat for automotive tools
The Eclipse Foundation has announced the formation of Auto IWG, the Automotive Industry Working Group. The EAIWG will develop an open source initiative to create a standard platform for the automotive industry's software development tools, based on Eclipse. Founding members from the car industry include BMW Group, Robert Bosch GmbH and Continental AG, who will be joined by itemis AG, an Eclipse Strategic Member. The working group is open to all in the automotive industry who want to collaborate on the development.
As the supply chain for the automotive business becomes more complex, the members of the working group feel that there is a need for a standard platform that can be used throughout that supply chain. BMW, for example, uses standards such as AUTOSAR (Automotive Open System Architecture), FlexRay and GENIVI in building their vehicles and they need a tool chain which can support all these standards. Given Eclipse is a de-facto standard for creating such development platforms, the group aims to create the necessary innovations for automotive manufacturers to create a unified automotive platform. The results will be licensed under the "commercial-friendly" EPL open source licence.
The EAIWG has already begun the process of selecting components from the Eclipse projects which could form part of an Automotive Tool Developer's Eclipse distribution, drawing on component selections made by ARTOP, the AUTOSAR Tool Platform Group, and EDONA, whilst adding components such as Mylyn, BIRT and the Update Manager.
Previous industry working groups have not been successful – for example, PULSAR is an Eclipse group formed by industry partners to address integrating tools for mobile developers. The mobile market is, though, much more diverse, unlike the automotive industry which has a track record in cooperating in the development of tools such as AUTOSAR.