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Towards a Multi-OS Architecture for Consistent User Interface Experience


Research group:

Publication Type:

Licentiate Thesis


Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses


Vehicles have greatly changed over the last decades. Originally, they were used as a means of transportation, and their drivers were solely engaged in the driving task. In modern cars the user, i.e. the former driver, has to interact with many different systems, which provide access to different domains, such as vehicle functions (monitoring speed, fuel consumption), safety related features, comfort and infotainment. Advancements in technologies make it possible to cope with the increasing amount of features, as for example the introduction of input and output modalities that allow new ways of interaction, such as touch(-screens), voice control or gesture recognition. In the end a user has to interact with all systems through the overall user-interface. This requires a high usability and a consistent look and feel in order to provide a consistent user experience. On the technology side, developers have to cope with rising complexity, dependencies and inter-connections of about 80 different embedded systems in a premium car. The introduction of multi-core systems opened the way for new approaches, like Multi-OS environments. There multiple operating sys- tems are consolidated onto a single hardware platform by the use of hardware/- software virtualization. This allows for example to run real-time operating systems (RTOS) for safety critical cluster applications next to a general pur- pose operating system (GPOS) for infotainment applications. This also poses new challenges, such as the contradiction between a clear separation meant to reduce complexity, dependencies and to mitigate the risk of interferences, and interconnections that are required to create a composited user-interface. In this thesis, the challenges of compositing heterogeneous systems in an automotive context are explored. Current approaches are studied and the con- tradiction of separation and interconnection is explained. Based on this, con- cepts are introduced and software architectures are proposed, which can be used to implement composited user interfaces for Multi-OS environments. Fur- thermore, an application prototype that is used to verify the proposed software architecture in regard of graphical user-interfaces, called HTML-UI-Compositor, has been implemented. The HTML-UI-Compositor also provides a simple way of compositing graphical user-interfaces through the adaptation of a web browser engine, which allows well-known standard web development tools and languages to be used to create composited user-interfaces. Those are the first steps towards a Multi-OS architecture that supports a consistent user interface experience


author = {Tobias Holstein},
title = {Towards a Multi-OS Architecture for Consistent User Interface Experience},
isbn = {978-91-7485-303-2},
editor = {M{\"a}lardalen University Press Licentiate Theses},
month = {December},
year = {2016},
publisher = {M{\"a}lardalen University Press Licentiate Theses},
url = {}