RALEIGH – A concept driving future development of autonomus and other vehicles called “Software Defined Vehicle and Operating System” appears to be taking a major step forward today with Red Hat and General Motors unveiling a SDV initiative. But what’s an SDV?

Here’s how the concept was outlined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology:

“Future transportation systems evolve new in-vehicle network designs are required to handle the heterogeneous data generated by different Electronic Control Modules (ECUs). Enabling interaction between these data sources can trigger innovation and the emergence of new smart features significantly impacting upon security and riders experience. The interoperability between the ECUs is of high value in the context of autonomous transportation systems. Indeed, it enables different technologies to collaborate for achieving complex tasks. Without this interoperability, features like radar system connected to the Media Oriented Systems Transport bus (MOST) cannot trigger the electronic stability control connected to the Controller Area Network (CAN). These features allow the car to mitigate a high-risk situation using existing modules. In this work, we propose a Software Defined Network (SDN) approach that enables in-vehicle data sources interoperability that allows ECUs to share a medium.”

In an announcement made at the Red Hat Summit in Boston, the Hatters and GM said they plan to “expand an ecosystem of innovation around the Red Hat In-Vehicle Operating System, which provides a functional-safety certified Linux operating system foundation intended for the ongoing evolution of GM’s Ultifi software platform.”

In a video, execs from the firms explain what’s happening:

“Watch Francis Chow, Vice President and General Manager of In-Vehicle Operating System and Edge at Red Hat, and Scott Miller, Vice President of Software Defined Vehicle and Operating System at General Motors, talk about reimagining vehicle platforms with open source and the future of the automotive industry.”

Read the full announcement online.