GM is partnering with IBM subsidiary to develop open-source Linux OS for vehicles

(Credit: Unreal Engine/YouTube)

General Motors has confirmed that it is partnering with IBM subsidiary Red Hat to develop a new, open-source Linux-based operating system. The upcoming OS would support the rollout of GM’s Ultifi initiative, a cloud-based platform announced last year. 

GM’s Ultifi platform is designed to oversee and “unlock new vehicle experiences and connect customers’ digital lives.” Designed as an end-to-end software platform, Ultifi will enable frequent and seamless delivery of software-defined features, apps, and services through over-the-air software updates. Few details are available about GM’s Ultifi platform, but its potential seems vast. 

Red Hat’s software has some advantages compared to comparable operating systems in the automotive market. One of these is a continuous functional safety certification system, which requires software developers to go through several safety certification processes to ensure that a feature, function, or app is reliable, robust, and resistant to cyberattacks. 

GM vice president of software-defined vehicle and operating system Scott Miller is optimistic about the automaker’s partnership with Red Hat. 

“General Motors is now a platform company and working with Red Hat is a critical element in advancing our Ultifi software development. Incorporating the company’s expertise in open source solutions and enterprise networks will pay dividends as we aim to provide the most developer-friendly software platform in the industry. With Red Hat’s operating system as a core enabler of Ultifi’s capabilities, the opportunity for innovation becomes limitless,” Miller said

Provided that GM and Red Hat’s efforts are successful, future vehicles like the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq, which are expected to be equipped with the Ultifi system, should be able to receive software updates easier. GM could better handle software-based vehicle issues as well. 

Watch a video about GM and Red Hat’s collaboration in the video below.

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GM is partnering with IBM subsidiary to develop open-source Linux OS for vehicles
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