Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Toshiba headline Japan's entry into the in-car OS field

In early April, DailyTech reported on Toyota's efforts to create an in-car operating system for its vehicles. Toyota's plan was to create a base operating system that could be used in all of its vehicles with plug-ins for vehicle-specific functions.

Today the Yomiuri Shimbun reports that Toyota's efforts will be rolled into joint OS development team composed of both technology companies and auto manufacturers. Toyota along with Nissan, Honda, Denso and Toshiba will form the Japan Automotive Software Platform Architecture (JasPar).

Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry plans to allocate 1 billion yen ($8.41 million USD) for the project during fiscal year 2008. A prototype for the OS is planned for fiscal year 2009 and commercial availability is expected before the end of the next decade.

Japanese-based companies are not the only ones looking to develop a far-reaching automotive OS. BMW, Mercedes and other European Union (EU) auto manufacturers are developing an in-car OS which will reach the prototype phase in 2008.

The competing Japanese and European operating systems will help to drive down the costs associated with manufacturing automobiles. It is estimated that electronic components and software are responsible for 20 percent of overall productions costs for modern automobiles and close to 50 percent for hybrids such as Toyota’s Prius.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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