MS Windows for your car?
March 4, 2002 10:30 AM   Subscribe

MS Windows for your car? Let me make sure I'm getting this...cell phones in cars = bad, BSOD in cars = good?
posted by kasnj (14 comments total)
I've used the computer interface in the 7 series. BMW's new system is VERY nice. ...and the force feedback controller is so cool. I really like it.

I've seen xbox kiosks, kiosks at movie theaters, and digital billboards all unusable b/c of some microsoft crash/error. They better keep the car os as far away from the home networks as possible.
posted by tomplus2 at 11:11 AM on March 4, 2002

And they think there not a monopoly
posted by sahrens428 at 11:39 AM on March 4, 2002

"there"? Anyhow. There are going to be a ton of great applications from this and I'm sure plenty of opportunities for abuse as well. I, for one, am looking forward to it.
posted by xammerboy at 11:51 AM on March 4, 2002

tomplus2 - The linked article almost certainly refers to a dashboard unit of some sort. Presumably, by car os, you're referring to the system that regulates fuel mixture and engine operation - those are typically proprietary realtime os's. Whatever hype ms's marketing mavens can dream up, windows isn't and never will be a realtime os.
posted by swell at 11:54 AM on March 4, 2002

wow, that's quite a troll. should this be a platform advocacy discussion, or should we talk about the implications on traffic safety when computing in one's car becomes pervasive? I'd like to see anyone come up with legislation that had any effect upon curtailing this trend. I just can't see voice recognition being advanced enough in order to provide an alternative to distracting displays and menus.
posted by machaus at 11:55 AM on March 4, 2002

You know what would be nice? I would like cars to have a panel that shows the traffic, road and weather conditions up ahead. Now that I can see someone doing using Windows CE.
posted by riffola at 12:13 PM on March 4, 2002

Swell, sorry, by "os" I was talking about the interface for nav/hvac/phone system, not the car's engine computer. I guess "os" wasn't the best way to put it. The artcicle said "He also said Microsoft would eventually like to see Windows CE used as a link in networks that connect drivers to their home computers..." The system as it is currently in the BMW is nice. It just seems that by adding the networking functionality the door for problems will open.

I'm into gps navigation a little. I used a nav system in tokyo (which is more than gps). I loved it. It was cool to see traffic report pop up and give you the option to re-route you to you destination.
posted by tomplus2 at 12:45 PM on March 4, 2002

"This BMW has performed an illegal operation.

::::clicks on details::::::::

"BMW_DRV.EXE caused a major collision with ASSHOLE_ON_CELL_PHONE.DRV......."

Wonderful. Can't wait.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 1:48 PM on March 4, 2002

This isn't a full Windows OS, nor is it replacing the ECU. This is just for the iStick (IIRC, that's what they call it) in-car control system. This consists, basically, of a force-feedback input system (trackball? joystick? not sure), and a computer display in the dash. The system controls radio, HVAC, navigation, etc, not any critical car functions. And from what I've heard, it's very cool, if it does take a while to learn.
posted by jammer at 1:58 PM on March 4, 2002

Windows CE is not Windows 9x. It's an embedded operating system with a similar interface, but that's about all; its kernel has virtually nothing in common with the desktop operating systems kernels.

Windows CE does not blue-screen, in my experience.
posted by dhartung at 3:44 PM on March 4, 2002

If this could be used to give a decent HUD with the speedometer, tachometer, gauges, etc... then it could have a positive impact on safe operation. Never have to look down, so fewer distractions....
posted by dissent at 4:00 PM on March 4, 2002

Windows CE does not blue-screen, in my experience.

oh, but it sure is fun to pretend we've used it and pretend that it bluescreens all the time! hyuk hyuk hyuk!
posted by chrisege at 4:38 PM on March 4, 2002

Finally, when we say our computers crashed, we can mean it.
posted by Poagao at 7:47 PM on March 4, 2002

I think that a heads-up-display should be a prerequisite for any on-board computing, along with simplified input devices embedded in the steering wheel. I don't care who provides the OS, so long as it's reliable.

At a bare minimum, vehicle status such as speed, fuel, etc. should be available without taking your eyes off the road. More interesting applications would be environmental controls such as temp and audio, trip planning via GPS, and hands-free communication.

Driver displays mounted anywhere other than the windscreen are a poor design decision. I'm not opposed to redundant mechanical dash-mounted readouts that we currently use, nor do I think an entire "glass cockpit" is currently cost effective, but increasingly complex displays mounted throughout the console seem to be asking for trouble.
posted by johnnyace at 4:56 AM on March 5, 2002

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