CES 2017 was full of autonomous driving, artificial intelligence and virtual assistants. It was great to see the momentum in the industry towards the future. While all of the innovative, future oriented technologies were present, there was also room for more modern technologies such as plastic mobile phone covers. Somewhere in between today and tomorrow were digital cockpits with a variety of implementations.
Qt based technologies were demoed everywhere by OEMs, Tiers1, silicon vendors and various solution providers. Some partners had made it very easy to find Qt – both Harman and Greenhills for example had hard printed Qt logos on their booth infrastructure, HERE and Pelagicore had Qt logos on the software, while some partners (when asked) said that Qt was the technology driving their demos. Of course, there were also product demos that were on display where one just needed to have some inside information to know that the demo was using Qt.
Qt was presented in many different roles: UI used to demonstrate underlying hardware technology, developer platform for generic applications or a holistic digital cockpit solution for traditional cars, as well as driver’s/passengers’ UI for autonomous cars. Most interestingly there was not a single competitor’s technology covering all of these use cases. Based on my biased, one-man market study I could claim Qt was the most versatile automotive technology at CES.
Using Qt in hardware demoes is easy to understand. Qt enables fast UI creation if the partner wants to demo for example performance of the underlying platform. In addition, Qt was used to visualize the sensor data either as for pure demo or real use case in autonomous driving scenario.
As Qt is used in over 70 different industries the applications are easy to find. Most interestingly big service / software brands have started to use Qt in OEM specific application development. Good example being Skype for Business by Volvo.
The trend from IVIs and instrument clusters to digital cockpits was very clear across the Tier1s and OEMs. The more futuristic the cockpit you saw the more difficult it was to split the functionality. Based on several discussions with OEMs, Tier1s and other solution providers the future is all about one software platform on one hardware system. It was not only The Qt Company who had selected Qt for comprehensive digital cockpit solution, the whole industry is looking at Qt.
In short, Qt is everywhere at CES2017 was true.