Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 11th Dec 2014 17:32 UTC
QNX

Ford today took the wraps off its next generation in-car technology package. Called Sync 3, it's expectedly faster, sleeker and much improved from the old one. It's also more intuitive, easier on the eyes and better integrates smartphone apps. But the biggest change is under the hood: Sync 3 is powered by QNX instead of Microsoft Auto.

The car has become yet another platform battleground.

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Crashes
by sb56637 on Thu 11th Dec 2014 17:52 UTC
sb56637
Member since:
2006-05-11

"Microsoft Auto". That name takes the term "car crash" to a whole new dimension in my mind. :p

Reply Score: 7

RE: Crashes
by phoenix on Thu 11th Dec 2014 20:35 UTC in reply to "Crashes"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

There's got to be a joke in there about the "red screen of death" ...

Reply Score: 2

So...
by TemporalBeing on Thu 11th Dec 2014 18:05 UTC
TemporalBeing
Member since:
2007-08-22

...I can finally consider getting a Ford Vehicle again.

Seriously, MS Windows embedded in any vehicle is just wrong.

QNX is a fine system, and while I wouldn't mind it being Linux, it's probably the better choice.

Reply Score: 2

RE: So...
by kallisti5 on Thu 11th Dec 2014 19:13 UTC in reply to "So..."
kallisti5 Member since:
2009-09-08

QNX is a great product. However since RIM purchased them they have gone downhill. No longer giving away hobby licenses means that only large enterprise customers can play with it :-|

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: So...
by tbullock on Fri 12th Dec 2014 03:24 UTC in reply to "RE: So..."
tbullock Member since:
2012-01-30

Not exactly bare metal qnx, but the api is fully exposed in the bb10 dev kit.

I ported some software to it recently, though I was annoyed by the absence of asprintf. Admittedly its still an extension but really, its pretty useful. Not sure why its missing since so much other stuff is pulled from openbsd (most notably PF).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: So...
by seanb on Fri 12th Dec 2014 16:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So..."
seanb Member since:
2007-03-04

<nbutil.h>
LIBS+= nbutil

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: So...
by seanb on Fri 12th Dec 2014 18:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So..."
seanb Member since:
2007-03-04


I ported some software to it recently, though I was annoyed by the absence of asprintf.


Trying again... For asprintf:

#include <nbutil.h>
LIBS+=nbutil

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: So...
by tbullock on Fri 12th Dec 2014 23:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So..."
tbullock Member since:
2012-01-30

Trying again... For asprintf:

#include
LIBS+=nbutil


Sexy.

Reply Score: 1

RE: So...
by Drumhellar on Thu 11th Dec 2014 21:53 UTC in reply to "So..."
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Seriously, MS Windows embedded in any vehicle is just wrong.


Why? Why is it bad?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: So...
by _QJ_ on Fri 12th Dec 2014 12:08 UTC in reply to "RE: So..."
_QJ_ Member since:
2009-03-12

... Maybe because there is no Microsoft-related engineer to understand what Embedded Real-Time Computing mean ?
O:-)

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: So...
by krreagan on Fri 12th Dec 2014 15:07 UTC in reply to "RE: So..."
krreagan Member since:
2008-04-08

I have Sync in my 2011 Escape... Sync is the worst implementation I can think of. It's counter intuitive clumsy and it takes your focus away from the road because the voice recognition sucks rocks!
I'm surprised someone has not sued Ford after a crash for having a system that is so completely inappropriate for a car entertainment system.
I had vowed not to by another Ford until they punted Sync. Looks like I won't have to wait long.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: So...
by Drumhellar on Fri 12th Dec 2014 18:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So..."
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Ford Sync uses Nuance for voice recognition, not Microsoft's kit. Chances are, their QNX-based product will also use Nuance.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: So...
by cdude on Sat 13th Dec 2014 05:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So..."
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2859373/ford-dumps-microsoft-f...

"Ford also upgraded its Nuance voice-recognition technology to be more conversational"

"Ford's third generation, QNX-supported Sync uses a more natural language speech-recognition technology from Nuance"

"Previous generations of Ford's Sync system suffered from poor voice recognition"

Even the old, bad quality, Nuance version was better then Microsoft's even older and long time aborted TellMe. Windows CE is a dead horse since a long time anyways.

Edited 2014-12-13 05:07 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: So...
by Drumhellar on Sat 13th Dec 2014 05:20 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: So..."
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

"Ford also upgraded its Nuance voice-recognition technology to be more conversational"

"Ford's third generation, QNX-supported Sync uses a more natural language speech-recognition technology from Nuance"

"Previous generations of Ford's Sync system suffered from poor voice recognition"


All versions of Ford Sync (and MyFord Touch) use Nuance. The problems with the product are purely Ford's doing.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: So...
by tylerdurden on Sat 13th Dec 2014 23:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: So..."
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

The problems with the product are purely Ford's doing.

Indeed, starting with the decision of using a POS like WinCE as the basis for their car infotainment system.

Reply Score: 2

RE: So...
by ezraz on Fri 12th Dec 2014 14:54 UTC in reply to "So..."
ezraz Member since:
2012-06-20

same thing for me. i was strongly considering a new ford last year but the poorly reviewed microsoft sync, which could not be avoided and seemed to be the last thing i wanted in my new car, made me look elsewhere.

i really don't like any of the "infotainment" stuff. i was given a high-end BMW rental for a funeral and it had the most complicated, all encompassing system in it. the thing had at least 2 screens, several input methods, navigation deeper than most websites, and was way too creepy and all encompassing for a car.

give me a key and a stereo system. i work with computers all day, i don't need them to help me drive a freakin car.

i swear ubiquitous navigation and "infotainment" is making people less intelligent and interesting every year.

add to that the minivans with screens all over. i swear i see families with all 4 screens on and the kids are all holding tablets. crazy.

i like technology but i fear what it's doing to the masses when it's distilled down to just entertainment. if those kids were reading or learning or programming or trying to solve problems that could be such an amazing thing. instead they are just consuming more drivel. seems the "idiot box" has left the box and follows us around everywhere.

Reply Score: 1

RE: So...
by ilovebeer on Sun 14th Dec 2014 17:54 UTC in reply to "So..."
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Seriously, MS Windows embedded in any vehicle is just wrong.

Are you aware of the fact that Microsoft is a huge supplier of products for the military? You don't trust them in your case but the military has been trusting them in critical systems (and vehicles) for years. You can choose to hate Microsoft but at least try to find a credible reason for it.

QNX is a fine system, and while I wouldn't mind it being Linux, it's probably the better choice.

Please elaborate on why you think Linux would be a better choice. Linux is a mess in many ways - something you see acknowledged on the official mailing lists, and by good ol' Linus himself in his interactions with various systems maintainers. Too often you see people posting praise for Linux while knowing very little about it beyond where to download an Ubuntu iso.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: So...
by TemporalBeing on Mon 15th Dec 2014 14:36 UTC in reply to "RE: So..."
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

"Seriously, MS Windows embedded in any vehicle is just wrong.

Are you aware of the fact that Microsoft is a huge supplier of products for the military? You don't trust them in your case but the military has been trusting them in critical systems (and vehicles) for years. You can choose to hate Microsoft but at least try to find a credible reason for it.
"

Yes, I am aware MS supplies the military.
But guess what?

The military doesn't trust MS on any sensitive or secure system. Once security requirements reach a certain point, then Windows is no longer allowed.

You will also not find Windows in any embedded system, and reluctantly on servers - again, only to a certain point.

So please, do not use the military to say "you should trust Windows" because even the military does not. (And intelligence agencies trust them even less!)


QNX is a fine system, and while I wouldn't mind it being Linux, it's probably the better choice.

Please elaborate on why you think Linux would be a better choice. Linux is a mess in many ways - something you see acknowledged on the official mailing lists, and by good ol' Linus himself in his interactions with various systems maintainers. Too often you see people posting praise for Linux while knowing very little about it beyond where to download an Ubuntu iso. [/q]

From a "freedom" point, it certainly is as QNX is a commercial only system.

From a user system, it is as QNX uses its own system; it's like the difference between Ubuntu Linux and AIX in respect.

However, Linux does not have very good real-time support in the mainline kernel. There are a number of forks that provide real-time support, but there's nothing really agreed on and you're running a bit of a risk at the moment.

QNX, OTOH, has great real-time support.

As to the "mess" you refer to, you'll find that in any system. Linus is just more open about it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: So...
by ilovebeer on Mon 15th Dec 2014 17:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So..."
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Yes, I am aware MS supplies the military.
But guess what?

The military doesn't trust MS on any sensitive or secure system. Once security requirements reach a certain point, then Windows is no longer allowed.

Not quite. Windows is used in several systems where elevated security is required. Windows isn't used where it isn't the right tool. Also, I hope you're aware that the software used by the military is not the same off-the-shelf stuff you can buy as a consumer. Comparing what they're using (especially in critical or sensitive systems) to what you use at home is apples vs. oranges.

You will also not find Windows in any embedded system, and reluctantly on servers - again, only to a certain point.

I can't speak for embedded systems much but as servers go, you aren't actually suggesting that all the servers running Windows is being done reluctantly are you? Now why on earth would they do that if better, more secure, more stable, and cheaper alternatives exist?.....

So please, do not use the military to say "you should trust Windows" because even the military does not. (And intelligence agencies trust them even less!)

I gave no recommendation on what/who people `should` trust. I simply gave a counter-point to the idea that Windows is insecure & unstable. The military using Microsoft products where it has tighter restrictions & requirements than the average user does actually say something (at least about the products they're using). Let's not pretend it doesn't. I can't speak for what happens in the intelligence community, but I never said anything about that anyways.

From a "freedom" point, it certainly is as QNX is a commercial only system.

Freedom for who or what? Or do you mean free as in freeware/open-source instead of closed/commercial software? I'm not sure what "freedom" you're referring to and further not sure whatever it is even matters inside a car.

From a user system, it is as QNX uses its own system; it's like the difference between Ubuntu Linux and AIX in respect.

Users don't give a shit what they're using, they only care that it works half-way decent. How many people have even heard of QNX, much less know what it is, and further have an opinion about it? I've never heard someone say they wish the software in their car were more Linux-like.

However, Linux does not have very good real-time support in the mainline kernel. There are a number of forks that provide real-time support, but there's nothing really agreed on and you're running a bit of a risk at the moment.

QNX, OTOH, has great real-time support.

So we're back to how exactly would Linux be a "better choice"? I'd venture to say if it was obviously better we'd see the proof inside cars.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: So...
by TemporalBeing on Mon 15th Dec 2014 23:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So..."
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

"Yes, I am aware MS supplies the military.
But guess what?

The military doesn't trust MS on any sensitive or secure system. Once security requirements reach a certain point, then Windows is no longer allowed.

Not quite. Windows is used in several systems where elevated security is required. Windows isn't used where it isn't the right tool. Also, I hope you're aware that the software used by the military is not the same off-the-shelf stuff you can buy as a consumer. Comparing what they're using (especially in critical or sensitive systems) to what you use at home is apples vs. oranges.
"

True, you can't compare the cripple Windows Gold Edition against normal Windows. (And yes, it is crippled by comparison; though security on it is certainly a lot better.)
However, it still doesn't reach the same CC/EAL level as Linux - SLED and RHEL both have versions that reach CC/EAL levels that are only shared by Trusted Solaris, and that's where I am making the comparison against. If you want to go higher than these three have made it, then you have to have a completely custom system - OS included - that is specially crafted for its environment.

"You will also not find Windows in any embedded system, and reluctantly on servers - again, only to a certain point.

I can't speak for embedded systems much but as servers go, you aren't actually suggesting that all the servers running Windows is being done reluctantly are you? Now why on earth would they do that if better, more secure, more stable, and cheaper alternatives exist?.....
"

Because something they are using requires it.

For example, I had a gov't customer that installed a Windows Server only because the software we offered only ran on Windows. They would have rather we had a UNIX/Linux version; but it wasn't possible at that time (no dev money for it in the company).

"From a "freedom" point, it certainly is as QNX is a commercial only system.

Freedom for who or what? Or do you mean free as in freeware/open-source instead of closed/commercial software? I'm not sure what "freedom" you're referring to and further not sure whatever it is even matters inside a car.
"

True, for a car it doesn't matter so much...well, at least not right now or under the guidelines the car manufacturers operate under in the US and probably Europe where they're required to support it for so long after the initial sale.
Almost no one tinkers with the car computer right now...but in say 5-10 year time that very well may change.

"From a user system, it is as QNX uses its own system; it's like the difference between Ubuntu Linux and AIX in respect.

Users don't give a shit what they're using, they only care that it works half-way decent. How many people have even heard of QNX, much less know what it is, and further have an opinion about it? I've never heard someone say they wish the software in their car were more Linux-like.

However, Linux does not have very good real-time support in the mainline kernel. There are a number of forks that provide real-time support, but there's nothing really agreed on and you're running a bit of a risk at the moment.

QNX, OTOH, has great real-time support.

So we're back to how exactly would Linux be a "better choice"? I'd venture to say if it was obviously better we'd see the proof inside cars.
"

uConnect (Chrysler & Co) uses Linux if I am not mistaken. So it's not like it's not there in vehicles. QNX is just better at real-time as it was designed for real-time; but if near-real time is good enough than Linux is just as good.

It all depends on the use-case.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by strim
by strim on Thu 11th Dec 2014 19:53 UTC
strim
Member since:
2008-07-01

I'm scared shitless of anything with Microsoft name in my car.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by strim
by WorknMan on Thu 11th Dec 2014 20:11 UTC in reply to "Comment by strim"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I'm scared shitless of anything with Microsoft name in my car.


Why? It's not like Windows isn't stable. I can't recall the last time it has crashed on me where bad hardware or shitty drivers weren't to blame.

Reply Score: 3

v RE[2]: Comment by strim
by allanregistos on Fri 12th Dec 2014 04:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by strim"
RE[2]: Comment by strim
by alexz on Fri 12th Dec 2014 22:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by strim"
alexz Member since:
2012-02-25

Hell, since Windows Vista (and hugely improved in 8) the OS can survive a lot of driver crashes cases.

Graphic drivers for example can't kill Windows if they follow the WDK correctly (Intel and AMD do, but I wouldn't be surprised Nvidia uses dirty trick to push itself on top.). At best your screen will flicker and you'll see "The driver has crashed" notification, at worse it will kick you out of your user session (without crashing the OS itself)

Edited 2014-12-12 22:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by strim
by WorknMan on Sat 13th Dec 2014 19:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by strim"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Graphic drivers for example can't kill Windows if they follow the WDK correctly (Intel and AMD do, but I wouldn't be surprised Nvidia uses dirty trick to push itself on top.). At best your screen will flicker and you'll see "The driver has crashed" notification, at worse it will kick you out of your user session (without crashing the OS itself)


When I first upgraded from Windows 8 to 8.1, I had many hard freezes in the beginning, caused by an nVidia video card driver (GeForce GTX 460). It was a well known issue at the time - I remember a thread on their forum that was many, many pages long. I think that's the biggest issue I've had with a Windows box since XP was released in 2001.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by strim
by ilovebeer on Sun 14th Dec 2014 18:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by strim"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

People love to point their finger at Windows as if it's the root of all evil. Of course they're conveniently ignoring that most peoples problems aren't caused by Windows, but rather other software (or hardware) misbehaving. It makes you wonder how many calls Windows support gets where they have to direct you to the maker of the product you're having trouble with.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by strim
by TemporalBeing on Mon 15th Dec 2014 14:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by strim"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

"I'm scared shitless of anything with Microsoft name in my car.


Why? It's not like Windows isn't stable. I can't recall the last time it has crashed on me where bad hardware or shitty drivers weren't to blame.
"

That's in part due to the change from XP to Vista where MS switched to a default auto-reboot for most BSOD errors. ;)

Reply Score: 2

Good riddance
by sultanqasim on Thu 11th Dec 2014 20:12 UTC
sultanqasim
Member since:
2006-10-28

I'm very glad they're ditching Microsoft Auto and switching to a more stable platform. I have Ford Sync in my car and it is quite terrible. Slight lag I can live with, but the frequent crashes and bugs irritate me a lot. Sometimes, the system loses pairings by itself, forcing me to re-pair my phone. Some days, it refuses to go into Bluetooth Audio mode, and randomly starts working again a few days later. Sometimes, the voice commands act up and keep asking me the same question again and again in an endless loop, cutting me off as soon as I try to reply. Sometimes, the whole system locks up and I need to do a hard reset of Sync (and reconfigure everything) to make it work again. It seems that Microsoft Auto is less reliable than Windows 95.

Edited 2014-12-11 20:14 UTC

Reply Score: 7

Comment by judgen
by judgen on Thu 11th Dec 2014 22:33 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

Was this not announced a year ago as one of the steps to unify the ford lineup interfaces in the cars?

Reply Score: 2

Good news
by Drunkula on Fri 12th Dec 2014 13:46 UTC
Drunkula
Member since:
2009-09-03

Glad to hear Ford came to their senses. QNX is a much better platform. :-)

Reply Score: 2

ezraz
Member since:
2012-06-20

....and should only be an option.

Many cars (like 2014 Fords) require them, you can't even order some of their models without the computer center console.

Someone needs to buck the trend and go "old-school" with their dashboard.

Perfect car dashboard has speedo, tach, fuel, water temp, & oil pressure gauges clearly lit and always on.

Perfect center hub has basic climate controls, stereo (with wired aux input), clock, gear shifter, armrest, and at least 2 good cupholders. A convenient perch for a cell phone is also nice.

Perfect steering wheel has stereo volume and cruise control buttons, with a wiper stalk and a blinker stalk.


My favorite long-lost dashboard feature is in my '69 Buick - a "speed warning" dial on the speedometer that allows you to set a speed and an alarm buzzer will sound when going past it. A manual 'trigger' and it works perfectly. Set it to 10 over the limit and then you can still drive normally with a reminder if you are picking up too much speed. In that 69 it happens often ;-).

Reply Score: 1

Comment by sgtarky
by sgtarky on Fri 12th Dec 2014 15:51 UTC
sgtarky
Member since:
2006-01-02

I love my qnx based radio, MyGIG but it being released in 2008 it is rather long in tooth . i wish there were ways to update the UI. about all I have been able to do with it hacking wise is replace/upgrade the storage.

Reply Score: 2

cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

I recently purchased a new vehicle and took an expensive upgrade package simply to avoid Microsoft UVO system. As a long time Linux and FOSS user, I simply couldn't bear the thought of a Microsoft system in my dashboard.

Reply Score: 2