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Volkswagen Joins Automotive Grade Linux and the Linux Foundation

By April 8, 2019Announcements

Volkswagen Joins Automotive Grade Linux and the Linux Foundation
to Accelerate Open Source Innovation and Shared Software Development

Leading German automaker continues its transformation from automobile manufacturer to mobility provider by investing in open source
and shared development of automotive software

SAN FRANCISCO, April 8, 2019 — Automotive Grade Linux, a collaborative cross-industry effort developing an open source platform for connected car technologies, has announced that Volkswagen has joined Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) and the Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source.

AGL is an open source project at the Linux Foundation that is changing the way automotive manufacturers build software. More than 130 members are working together to develop a common platform that can serve as the de facto industry standard for infotainment, telematics and instrument cluster applications. Adopting an open platform across the industry enables automakers and suppliers to share and reuse the same code base, which reduces development costs, decreases time-to-market for new products and reduces fragmentation across the industry.

“The automotive industry is undergoing a digital transformation, and automakers and their suppliers are increasingly adopting open source solutions, like the AGL platform, to drive rapid innovation and enable them to bring products to market faster,” said Dan Cauchy, Executive Director of Automotive Grade Linux at the Linux Foundation. “We are very excited to welcome Volkswagen to the AGL community, and we look forward to leveraging the technological expertise of their developers and engineers as we continue to enhance the AGL platform and develop new functionalities.”

In 2008, Volkswagen contributed the Controller Area Network (CAN) bus networking subsystem to the Linux Kernel 2.6.25, which paved the way for a standardized socket API for developers and a common CAN network driver model for SoCs and PC-style CAN hardware. Within this contribution process, Volkswagen and non-automotive CAN users learned a lot from each other’s use-cases so that the Linux CAN support is now widely used in industrial, automotive and academic setups (e.g. CERN).

“The Open Source approach provides excellent software solutions that are suitable to enable a long-term support of software over the vehicle life cycle,” says Oliver Hartkopp, Open Source specialist at Volkswagen. “To ensure robust and secure solutions for our customers we want to be in close connection with the community to be able to directly interact with developers and maintainers.”

Working with communities and providing knowledge, ideas and source code requires a new mindset in the automotive industry. Volkswagen is joining AGL to become a member of the development community for the common automotive Linux platform.

Developed through a joint effort by dozens of member companies, the AGL Unified Code Base (UCB) platform is an open source software platform for infotainment, telematics and instrument cluster applications. It provides 70% of the starting point for a production project and includes an operating system, middleware and application framework. Automakers and suppliers can customize the platform with features, services and branding to meet their unique product and customer needs. 

About Automotive Grade Linux (AGL)
Automotive Grade Linux is a collaborative open source project that is bringing together automakers, suppliers and technology companies to accelerate the development and adoption of a fully open software stack for the connected car. With Linux at its core, AGL is developing an open platform from the ground up that can serve as the de facto industry standard to enable rapid development of new features and technologies. Although initially focused on In-Vehicle-Infotainment (IVI), AGL is the only organization planning to address all software in the vehicle, including instrument cluster, heads up display, telematics, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving. The AGL platform is available to all, and anyone can participate in its development. Learn more:

Automotive Grade Linux is a Collaborative Project at The Linux Foundation. Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects are independently funded software projects that harness the power of collaborative development to fuel innovation across industries and ecosystems.

Additional Resources

 About the Linux Foundation
Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation is supported by more than 1,000 members and is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. Linux Foundation’s projects are critical to the world’s infrastructure including Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js, and more.  The Linux Foundation’s methodology focuses on leveraging best practices and addressing the needs of contributors, users, and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at


The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see our trademark usage page: Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

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Emily Olin
Automotive Grade Linux