Open Source Telematics System Lets BMW Roll with the Changes


BMW is getting a telematics ménage à trois going with Connexis LLC and WirelessCar to more or less create a future-proof telematics system. This miraculous creation is being called the Next Generation Telematics Protocol, and the purpose is to allow for new services and features to be added to a vehicle without requiring equipment updates and purchases.

Telematics is a fancy coinage that combines "telecommunications" and "informatics." Telematics turns your BMW into a giant cellphone brain that can do all things electronic: tracking, positioning, identifying and more.

What makes the NGTP so special is that the source code of the telematics software is open to everyone. This could allow the convenience of easy software modifications to accommodate new technology as it appears. "Open source telematics"—how's that for a Zeitgeisty pileup on aisle nine?

The entire protocol seems to be build around the idea of flexibility. That X6 won't quite yield HAL 9000, but it's getting pretty damn close. [Press Release]