Just got out of the opening Keynote session at @ARMTechCon and as usual, the stuff that gets tossed off as peripheral to the message is the stuff I think is most interesting.


Tom Lantzsch, ARM's exec VP of strategy opened with some introductory remarks. He took no undue pride in pointing out that ARM processors are in:

  • 95% of smart phones and tablets
  • 80% of digital cameras
  • 95% of gaming consoles

And then he mentioned automotive safety systems and the coming "sensor bubble" that will surround drivers to keep them safe ( ARMv8-R Architecture for Next Generation Automotive). He mentioned it as though it was something in the future. The funny thing is that it really isn't. It's here now.  It just hasn't been turned on.


I was talking with a source in the automotive industry last week who told me all the major automakers worldwide has been building in RFID technology in new cars for several years, anticipating demand and legislation that requires a wireless connection between all cars to mitigate not only accidents but traffic flow obstructions.  And Tesla is the first of the manufacturers to actually make it happen.


Here's an example: let's say you are happily driving down the freeway (OK, maybe happy is a bad descriptor) and about 2 miles ahead a car blows out a tire and goes into a spin. The driver in the car behind the disabled car slams on the brakes and the ABM system slows him safely but also sends out an RFID signal to the following traffic and not only alerts other drivers to slow down quickly and the chain reaction of signals goes all the way back to you.  The signal goes into your GPS and gives you an optional route or advises you to adjust your schedule.


And that technology very likely exists in your car right now. So why isn't it turned on?  Basically because the manufacturers are scared spitless.


The recent court ruling in Oklahoma against Toyota, over a HW/SW glitch in the acceleration circuitry, demonstrated that the software development has not kept pace with the developments in hardware in the automotive industry.  That provides a great opportunity for software developers targeting ARM-core processors.


Driverless cars, ABM, GPS ( GPS Goggles at ARM TechCon) sensors will all be tied together by a common element: software, and according to Tom, it's probably going to be running on ARM processors. So, my suggestion, get to work.  There are a lot of opportunities  And let me know your ideas on how to do it.