The event had about 100 attendees, from a mix of component suppliers, OEMs, Tier 1s and smaller guys working on some specific automotive software aspects.
It was our first time attending this conference, so we had no idea what to expect. Generally, we got the impression that the sector is in the midst of quite a big transition, moving from very bespoke, specialized software and hardware solutions to a much more standardized approach based on Open Source and open standards. While this in itself is very significant, it’s the greater implications of this – an increased rate of innovation – which is both the threat and opportunity that is simultaneously causing discomfort and excitement right now.
The range of topics covered at the Summit is impressive – ranging from software licensing in Open Source to mapping to mobile integration to new virtualization platforms. Any one of these alone could have its own dedicated event.
The highlight of the event yesterday was definitely the very engaging Matt Jones from Jaguar-Land Rover who argued cogently that the sector has the opportunity to greatly increase its rate of innovation. Noting that timelines for introduction of software into cars can be about 39 months and small companies can bring production software out in 18 months or less, highlights the challenges for small companies with new ideas to engage in the automotive space. Also the idea of having rapid software update and distribution cycles should increase innovation and offer a much better experience to the car user overall.
We learnt lots from day 1 and met loads of very interesting people. Let’s hope day 2 will be equally as interesting…