No more mechanical gauges for the Land Rover Range Rover. The new 2010 model sports a QNX-based digital instrument cluster that displays virtual speedometers and gauges, as well as system warnings, suspension settings, steering angle, and a variety of other information, all on a 12" TFT screen:
As I've mentioned in previous posts, digital clusters offer something that traditional analog clusters can't: dynamic reconfigurability. Shift into reverse, and the digital cluster replaces a tachometer with a backup camera. Switch from highway mode to off-road mode, and the cluster displays information to help you negotiate the back road to your Aunt Mabel's cottage.
In the case of the Range Rover, you can even customize the cluster to your personal preferences. So throw out that pinstriping kit, 'cause you can pimp this ride without one. Well, sort of.
Visteon, the company that built the cluster for the 2010 Range Rover, is a long-established QNX customer. In addition to the Range Rover cluster, Visteon has used the QNX Neutrino RTOS in a variety of infotainment, handsfree, and navigation systems.
According to the QNX press release, QNX Software Systems also provided engineering services to help Visteon achieve the short bootup times demanded by Land Rover. A cluster of this sophistication requires an impressive amount of software, so I'm guessing the Range Rover cluster uses a combination of fastboot techniques. The cluster may also use QNX's instant device activation technology, but I'm guessing on that one.
Recently, MTA Group, an auto supplier based out of Italy, also announced that they use QNX for digital instrument clusters.
For previous posts on digital instrument clusters, click here.