The 2018 Camry will be the first Toyota vehicle to have the Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) platform underpinning its next-generation infotainment system.

AGL, an open source project hosted by the Linux Foundation, is developing a common platform for car infotainment systems and enhanced connectivity that functions as an industry standard.

“The flexibility of the AGL platform allows us to quickly roll out Toyota’s infotainment system across our vehicle line-up,” Toyota Executive Vice President Keiji Yamamoto said in a statement.

AGL will allow automakers to develop and introduce new infotainment functions at speeds that are more in line with the consumer electronics industry, he added.

“Adopting an open source development approach has enabled us to focus resources on developing innovative new features and bringing them to market faster,” Yamamoto said.

Some analysts speculated that Toyota’s move would hurt Blackberry QNX, the market leader in automotive infotainment. But Marty Beard, the COO of the Canadian technology company, said the Entune system that will now switch to AGL is only one of many components that make up the Toyota infotainment offering.

"Our infotainment business with Toyota is focused in several niches,” Beard said in a blog post. “QNX’s status in infotainment and virtual cockpit controllers remains rock-solid, while our future in the rest of the connected car is brighter than ever,” he added.

Nevertheless, Beard agreed, in his blog post, that AGL as well as Linux and Android, will have a share of the automotive infotainment market. But he added that “none of these challenger platforms is close to displacing BlackBerry QNX in safety-critical modules." This area, Beard said, is growing at a faster pace than infotainment in the software-defined car.

The first AGL-based Toyota infotainment system will debut on Camrys that will go on sale in late summer in the US. It will subsequently be rolled out to most North American Toyota and Lexus models.

The AGL community has around 90 member companies including Ford, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota.

In April, AGL announced that six new members from the high-tech community had joined the organization. They were ARCCORE, BayLibre, IoT.bzh, Nexius, SELTECH and Voicebox.

AGL Executive Director Dan Cauchy said these new members add voice recognition, security and virtualization expertise to the project. Said Cauchy: "The ecosystem is really taking off across diverse software disciplines.”

-By Arjen Bongard