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30 April, 2013 - 16:25 By News Desk

California boost as Raspberry Pi takes new commercial view

Raspberry Pi has made huge commercial strides in its first year

A California software developer which serves the automotive industry is leveraging Raspberry Pi, the Cambridge micro-computing technology solution as the UK business continues to build global traction.

Abalta Technologies says its WEBLINK car connectivity solution is now running on the Raspberry Pi computing board.

The US company says that WEBLINK's ability to run on Raspberry Pi shows how car manufacturers can deliver a safe in-vehicle smartphone app experience at a significantly lower cost.

WEBLINK is said to have strong appeal for auto manufacturers of middle-tier and economy vehicles due to its hardware-agnostic features, enabling a premium in-vehicle app experience at a low cost.

Car manufacturers have tried to meet consumer demands for apps in their vehicles in the past, but previous solutions have proved to be expensive to develop and maintain, says Abalta.

The Raspberry Pi is a $25, credit-card sized computer that can be configured to run Linux and other operating systems. Leveraging the Raspberry Pi as the WEBLINK client head unit device simulates an in-vehicle experience by installing the WEBLINK application server on a smartphone and connecting to the head unit over USB or Wi-Fi.

Pavel Stankoulov, chief software architect at Abalta Technologies, said: “We are excited to show auto makers how simple it is to integrate WEBLINK into in-vehicle infotainment systems. Porting the software to the Raspberry Pi platform demonstrates the elegance of the WEBLINK approach of bringing smartphone applications to the car at a very low cost to the car makers.”

WEBLINK also offers ease of integration of applications to the car ecosystem and allows HTML5 or native applications running on the smartphone to be viewed and controlled directly from the vehicle head unit display.

It enables app developers to bring apps into the car in a safe way in a language they are familiar with, ultimately improving both automakers' and app developer's bottom lines.

Raspberry Pi has made huge commercial strides in its first year, shipping over a million units and returning manufacturing to the UK – Wales to be precise. It has also split the trade side from the charitable element of the enterprise.

Eben Upton, executive director of the Raspberry Pi Foundation said: “On the basis of guidance received from our professional advisers, we've separated the existing trading activities of the Foundation into a wholly-owned trading subsidiary, Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd, while the Foundation continues to pursue its original educational mission. This is apparently considered best practice for charities which conduct significant commercial activity – charity shops would be a good example.”

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