Emulator, other datasets let anyone take a shot at in-car app development
Volvo also opening up LiDAR, sensor models for researchers
Instead of blocking attempts to let owners or developers try and make their own in-car apps, Volvo Cars is finding a new way to bring them onboard. It’s called the Innovation Portal, and it brings to developers free resources and tools to create in-car apps and services.
“Our cars are becoming increasingly smarter and more connected, and with that comes a growing demand for apps and services among our customers,” said Henrik Green, chief technology officer at Volvo Cars. “By making these resources publicly available, we support developers in- and outside our company, and collaborate with the best of the best in their fields.”
Tools on the portal include an emulator to let users recreate the Android Automotive Operating System used in the brand’s latest models. That lets them design, develop, and test apps without needing an actual car to do it. The apps can then be published through the Google Play system.
It’s also valuable for researchers, as Volvo will allow developers and other third parties access to dashboard data to help them build new services, with more data sources offered over time. A LiDAR dataset that uses data created using Luminar LiDAR sensors that can detect objects up to 250m away will also be available, which can help researcher work on and improve algorithms for LiDAR detection, benefiting autonomous vehicle development as well as driver assistance safety systems.
A fully-functional 3D model of the Volvo XC40 Recharge will be added to the portal, with digital versions of the car’s real sensors to let users test that data as well as build new functions and services related to those sensors.
So if you’ve ever wanted to make your own app for your car, this might be your chance.