A BMW research group has tested the Internet Protocol to network automotive controllers. The engineers found that IP could well suit the real-time requirements even of safety-critical applications. But the most prominent benefits are in another area: With IP networking, costs for automotive electronics probably could be lowered. (link via AutoBlog)
This is great news, not only will costs go down but interoperability and third party access. In many ways modern cars are beginning to resemble PCs with standard I/O and integrated networking.
It’s only a matter of time before enterprise software providers begin to seriously push to the automotive customer endpoints. There has been some SAP work to integrate customer support in the vehicle but I think this is equivalent to dabbling. I saw some glimpses of this with a Yukon Denali that we used to have, it’s on board electronics were highly extensible in a plug-and-play kind of way and with integrated OnStar they seemed to be on the verge of a whole new way of looking at electronics in vehicles.
What BMW and Mercedes are doing with Google Maps “send to car” is another example of how the line is blurring and how networked services reach is growing.