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06 July 2011, 10:10

Toyota joins Linux Foundation as Gold member

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Linux Foundation The Linux Foundation has announced that Japanese automobile maker Toyota has become its newest Gold Member. Toyota says that Linux gives the company "the flexibility and technology maturity" it needs to evolve its In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) and communications systems. In a statement, Kenichi Murata, Project General Manager for Toyota's Electronics Development Division, said "The Linux Foundation provides us with a neutral forum in which we can collaborate with the world’s leading technology companies on open innovation that accelerates that evolution."

Toyota Logo In recent years, Linux use in automotive production is becoming more important than ever. Instead of simply being used in the manufacturing process, Linux-based systems are being used inside of vehicles to provide enhanced connectivity and features, such as navigation, wireless internet and entertainment, to meet consumer expectations.

The Linux Foundation hosts the MeeGo project, a distribution for mobile devices created by merging Intel's Moblin platform and Nokia's Maemo platform. MeeGo was adopted by the GENIVI Alliance, a non-profit industry alliance which is creating an open source In-Vehicle Infotainment reference platform. GENIVI Alliance members include BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Renault, Nissan, General Motors (GM) and Honda, but not, at least currently, Toyota.

Gold membership is the middle ranked tier of the Linux Foundation's three tiers of membership: Platinum, Gold and Silver. Of the approximately 100 members, there are currently a total of seven Platinum members and twelve Gold members including Toyota. Other Gold members include AMD, China Mobile, Cisco, HP, Google, Motorola, Nokia, Novell and Panasonic.

The Linux Foundation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the task of promoting the growth of Linux. Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, is sponsored by the foundation.

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