Switching Gears

Switching Gears

18.11.2016
,
Jouni Leino

A while ago an opportunity presented itself and I decided to take a leap of faith and start something entirely new and unknown. For the past few years, I have been working on cloud services, infrastructure automation and a couple of new programming languages.

Now I switched from the telecom industry to automotive, hoping to fully utilize my diverse educational background and skills thus becoming a better engineer and a true digital craftsman. I agreed to spend time, during the rest of the year, in Wroclaw, where Siili is running most of our automotive projects in addition to USA, Oulu and Berlin.

Now, after my first week, I'm feeling surprised, delighted and happy. The positive vibes were instant on Monday morning as the whole crew gathered together and discussed some office improvements while enjoying coffee and breakfast.
 

Siili Wroclaw

 

On Monday morning the whole crew gather to discuss some office improvements while enjoying coffee and breakfast.

 

Consultants in Siili organize in tribes around a common interest. I switched from leading the DevOps tribe in Helsinki in order to become a member of the evidently über competent Energy driven tribe in Wroclaw.

My main focus is to learn C++ and KanziStudio which is a user interface design program from our Finnish partner Rightware that is competing for the market with Qt. I hope to benefit the team providing a new perspective and knowledge in DevOps related matters. Also, I wish to learn how Siili is delivering projects in the automotive business and develop my competence working with the customer interface.

Siili is currently working on some very interesting projects that involve implementation of Cluster & Driver Interfaces (DI), Infotaiment systems (IVI) and some promising innovations that we are focusing on are Heads-up display (HUD) with augmented reality technologies and projection systems. Earlier these have been used in military aircrafts and the concepts are now becoming more common in consumer vehicles.

Basically development of displays and clusters can be split in three parts. The designer delivers the graphic assets as 2D images, 3D models, textures, etc. The assets are imported to KanziStudio and the UI is constructed by drawing nodes, adding element properties, modelling and animating graphics, lights and cameras just like in any 3D modelling program.
 

Rightware

 

The final product is exported as a binary file for a desired platform. The binary gets flashed to a ”Target” which is a gray metal box running an operating system that gets mounted inside the car. The developers use an ”engineering” circuit board to deliver the binary and control the displays from a laptop computer. A graphics card connects the Target to automotive touchscreens and displays. Binary builds are handled by CI in a continuous fashion.

Kanzi Engine API provides a capability to tap into UI element properties using C++. Elements can also be animated with Javascript and there is support for responsive layouts. Kanzi integrates also with QNX for bluetooth connectivity and CanOE data API to allow end-to-end testing. I think I now have a general understanding of what we're doing in the automotive industry and what technologies we are utilizing in our deliveries.

Watch a presentation about Kanzi from Rightware while I continue generating more experience on the topic.

I will keep you posted on how things evolve over here in Poland. Na zdrowie!