Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Report from Barcelona: first meeting of the W3C automotive business group

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the first face-to-face meeting of the W3C automotive business group and the honor of being nominated group co-chair. (The other co-chair is Adam Abramski, an open source project manager for Intel.) With more than 70 members, the group has already become the eight-largest group in the W3C, even though it is barely two months old. Clearly, it’s generating a lot of interest.

The meeting included three presentations and two contributions. I presented on the lessons we’ve learned with the QNX CAR platform, how we think the market is changing, and how these changes should drive HTML5 standardization efforts.

I presented my three “musts” for standardizing HTML5 in the car:
  1. Must create something designed to run apps, not HMIs (unless HMIs come along for free)
  2. Must focus on mobile developers as the target development audience
  3. Must support integration of HTML5 environments with native environments like EB Guide and Qt
I described some of the changes that have resulted from the alignment of the QNX CAR platform with the Apache Cordova framework, and why they are crucial to our HTML5 work. Unfortunately, we didn't have our W3C contribution ready due to these changes, but members generally agreed that having a standard consistent with mobile development was an appropriate course change.

Tizen and GenIVI gave presentations about their vehicle APIs. Tizen has contributed its APIs, but GenIVI hasn't yet — still waiting on final approvals. Webinos contributed its APIs before the meeting, but didn’t deliver a presentation on its contribution; members had reviewed the Webinos work before the meeting.

The meeting was a great chance to sit down with people I don’t normally meet. Overall, the group is moving in the right direction, creating a standard that can help automakers bring the goodness of HTML5 into the car.

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