One addition Team Tennessee decided to make to its center console was an infotainment system. Although this endeavor was not a requirement for the competition, it is an important feature in most new cars on the market today and is often the first thing a consumer interacts with. Tennesee’s system is based off of the powerful QNX software and iMX.6 board donated by Freescale. The QNX system is coded in HTML5, an open language that requires little power while still delivering rich and fluid interfaces as well as multitasking. This platform also enables relatively easy applications development.
Along with the expected controls such as radio, local music and climate control, Team Tennessee’s infotainment system gives a detailed readout of all that is happening “under the hood” of the vehicle. Instead of needing a mechanic to determine what is wrong with your vehicle in the event of a mechanical issue, Tennessee’s infotainment system provides clear information on exactly what is malfunctioning in the system.
Users of this vehicle will find this to be a welcome difference from the systems on the market today, which typically only offer basic entertainment features and little else. This level of detail is possible because of the Malibu’s extensive Controller Area Network (CAN). The information that the car’s computer uses to make sure systems are running optimally can also be made available to the user.
Overall, this level of communication should offer a good push against the trend of abstracting the user from the processes happening within the vehicle. We are now living in the information age, so the more information is at a driver’s fingertips, the better.