Ahh the Nay sayers.
First let me say that OEM automotive systems will always cost $$$$ and for that reason will remain proprietary.
These are the two main reasons that Car PC's will have a long future. Sure there will be more aftermarket stuff. Because it is the aftermarket that drives the OEM's
For a OEM to implement something as simple as our Car PC's in their vehicles they have to spend HUGE amounts of dollars. Car manufacturers are not in the computer business.
Computer technology turns over every 18 to 20 months. If you want the best and the fastest you have to be ready to upgrade. OEM auto manufacturers can never engineer a turn around time that fast and get it into the vehicles. They always will LAG by about 2 or more years.
Plus OEM auto compaies are selfish and greedy giants. They want you to only be able to get parts and service from thier dealers. If you've tried to do OBDII on Late model BMW's you know what I mean. The keep the majority of their DTC codes and protocols secret.
So as OEM units have to be remove and replace units (Think that your local service dealer knows how to update and configure software?) the units will allways be 10 steps behind.
This is the beauty of our systems. Once the hardware issues are resolved and SW configuration issues are resolved. It is a snap to get and install a plug and play PC solution. The product support is way more than you get at a dealer. And even if you yourself may have a problem with installation and configuration there are plenty of PC shops and resources that can be drawn from.
As long as OEM have to rely on third party vendors to design and produce proprietary OEM systems then the cost will be so high that rapid adaption to the market will not be possible. And the cost of the option in the vehicle will remain at 2,000 to 3,500 bucks. And for that you get the basic minimum of functionality that can not be readily upgraded. You want the latest and the greatest well you have ot buy a new car or go aftermarket.
Open based platforms revolutionized the computer industry. No more proprietary operating systems controlling proprietary hardware. It's all of the shelf now. And that is why windows or unix based car PC's using standard architecture will allways have a advantage.
When OEM start useing open systems and hire educated geeks to work in thier service departments only then do we have to worry. But even then we will be the experts that those places will be looking for.
But to be honest, I do not see it happening anytime soon. What we do need is more interest in Car PC's especially in the US. The US always seems to be behind in the technological trends. With more interest you get better supplies and more variety and sources. Right now if you want a decent Car PC PSU you pretty much have OPUS and thats it. Oh there are one or two other obsucre manufacturers out there but I'd like to see a quality 250 / 300 watt PSU. Or how about Mini ITX solutions that actually have manufacturer support. Many of the p4 cards out there are devoid of this. Just try to find a Bios update.
A car PC like the motorized head units will have to be professionally installed in the most part. You'll not see many self installs. And as the price for thos installs will hover around the $2,000 mark and up expect not to see your average squid hooked up.