My next car will run Linux????

The Linux Foundation announced this morning that Toyota has signed on as a sponsor.  The Linux Foundation promotes the use of Linux.  So we can only assume that Toyota is going to start, if they aren't already, using Linux in some of their cars.  

This could take "WiFi war driving" to a whole new level.  Imagine your car mapping open access points along your route to work.  Then creating a mesh like network so that you could keep running Pandora or through the car stereo without having to worry about the data caps on your cell provider.  Stuck in traffic no worries just fire up a browser on the console and surf to your favorite YouTube videos while you wait.  People laughing at a video from Comedy Central could really help with road rage.

Seriously though it makes good commercial sense as even the closed source operating systems like the one from Microsoft that powers Ford's Sync need major modifications to meet the configuration needed in a car.  So starting with a free, open and stable operating system like Linux is a start on nearly equal standing.  I am not sure I would want a moded version of the kernel for my car like there are for Android Phones.  They could have the potential to get even better gas mileage or longer runs on the batteries for the Prius.

What do you think Toyota is going to do with Linux in their cars?  Let us know in the comments.

Brian Wagner

Brian started working with *nix in while a student at Kent State University in the early 90's. In 1995, as an E-Mail Administrator for Caliber Technology (now part of Fedex) he was tasked with administering Sendmail on both Slackware Linux and Solaris Systems. His first home install of Linux was MkLinux DR1 in 1996 on his 60 Mhz PowerMac. Since then Brian has been working and consulting on Linux and it's uses in the Enterprise to support everything from E-Mail, Firewalls, Web and File serving to custom cluster solutions and grid solutions. Brian has had the opportunity to work in both Fortune 500 companies and small 2 person organizations. This has given him the unique insight into the differences every size business faces.