Consumers accustomed to flashy images on everything from iPods to HDTVs won’t settle for grainy or boring graphics on vehicle displays. That is prompting companies in various fields to roll out software tools that help designers write graphical software.
Earlier this month, Fujitsu Microelectronics America unveiled software that helps developers use Fujitsu’s graphics chips to create visuals. Luxoft, a Russian information technology company, rolled out LUXdash, a software platform designed to speed development of multifunctional instrument clusters.
They are both designed to help engineers develop human/machine interfaces for functions including GPS navigation, infotainment control, car diagnostics, and hands-free telephone access. Reconfigurable LCDs can provide information tied to what the vehicle’s doing, switching from navigation to diagnostics information when problems arise, for example.
Fujitsu’s AutoGraFX tools let designers and engineers create graphics on large displays and PCs using a number of tools, then move the images to the target hardware so they can see exactly how they will look in the vehicle. Users can import graphics in many formats including JPG, TIF, GIF, BMP, and PNG.
Access to this range of formats lets many people provide input for designs without learning all aspects of hardware and software design. “The Fujitsu AutoGraFX SceneCreator allows designers to focus on creativity while letting developers focus on programming,” said Dan Landeck, Fujitsu’s Senior Strategic Marketing Manager.
The Luxoft software platform is based on open interfaces and open-source solutions such as Linux. Application programs can be ported to a wide variety of ARM and X86-based hardware platforms.
Luxoft also rolled out a Dynamic Points of Interest manager system. It is an interactive navigation software platform that combines social network-like online technologies and location-based services. “Our Dynamic POI is the first step towards the realization of Luxoft’s vision of in-vehicle social networking,” said Michael Minkevich, Vice President of Technology Services for Luxoft.