Using the industry standard HTML 5, a single app could bridge all QNX-based in-car entertainment platforms, making it easier for smaller app developers to bring their services to the car. Without having to involve the Tier 1 automotive manufacturers, both cost and time required shrink. As Gryc told us, "The current arrangement, where you have to build each app custom, only works for big guys that can afford to work with the OEMs [original equipment manufacturers--carmakers]. The smaller developers have no team to dedicate to this." But by basing the CAR 2 platform around the common ground of HTML 5, it could make bringing apps from the phone to the car much less labor intensive.
That's a good thing, as it helps bridge the gap between the way our phones, tablets and other gadgets work and the way our cars work.Better yet, each of those standard apps can be easily made to fit perfectly with the look and feel of each individual brand's entertainment system: Audi's Pandora (for example) will look like MMI, but BMW's will look like ConnectedDrive, etc., even though they're essentially the same app. Easy and effective re-skinning is another advantage of the HTML 5-based CAR 2 system.
For an example of what all of this could mean for you, the end user, check out this video demonstrating the technology in its generic form.
As the technology we use in our daily lives becomes more complex and more prevalent, keeping it all in sync with our increasingly complex and more widespread in-car computing systems will become more important. That's especially true for newer generations of car buyers, who have grown up connected to their computers, phones, and more--and expect their cars to keep up with that pace. Bridging that gap is the next step for the car, and the QNX CAR 2 platform is the next step in that effort.
So when might you begin to see some of this next-generation magic in the real world? The QNX CAR 2 system isn't released yet, though it's due to reach the carmakers around December this year, and Gryc says a "couple of customers" are already working toward production systems. From there, it will likely take some time to make it through development and into actual cars, but some cars may feature the technology as early as late 2013 or early 2014.
If that's not quite soon enough for you, you can see what goes into making a reference vehicle in the "making of" video below--but you'll still have to wait.