Car makers team on platform for smartphone-vehicle interaction

Toyota, Ford, Suzuki and Mazda are some of the supporters of the consortium

Car makers Ford and Toyota have announced the SmartDeviceLink Consortium, a nonprofit to manage open source software for the interface of Android and iOS smartphone apps with their vehicle infotainment systems.

Mazda Motor, PSA Group, Fuji Heavy Industries and Suzuki Motor are the first automaker members of the consortium.

Elektrobit, Luxoft, and Xevo have joined as the first supplier members, while Harman, Panasonic, Pioneer and QNX have signed letters of intent to join, according to an announcement Wednesday by Ford and Toyota.

BlackBerry subsidiary QNX Software Systems already powers Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system, as the Canadian company moves its focus to software, including for automotive applications.

By using an open source platform, the car makers hope to give themselves and their suppliers a standard with which to integrate apps with the vehicle display screen, steering wheel controls and voice recognition. Having a common platform adopted by many car makers would attract developers, who can benefit by integrating one linking technology used by all participating automakers.

The open source project will be managed by Livio, a software startup Ford acquired in 2013, which will work with early adopters to build the interfaces for each vehicle environment.

Apple and Google are already offering technologies that integrate smartphones with the infotainment systems of cars, and these have been adopted by many car makers. Ford itself said in January last year that it was increasing the number of smartphone functions that can be controlled from car interfaces by adding support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and introducing more apps for its Sync in-vehicle connectivity system for some of its vehicles.

SmartDeviceLink is based on Ford’s contribution of its AppLink software to the open source community in 2013. The AppLink connectivity interface, released to the Genivi Alliance, allowed drivers to take control of compatible smartphone apps through dashboard buttons or voice commands, and is already available on more than 5 million vehicles globally.

Toyota Motor said in January last year it would adopt SmartDeviceLink technology for its vehicles. Automakers PSA Peugeot Citroën, Honda, Mazda and Subaru were also considering adding the software, Ford said at the time. Toyota plans to launch a telematics system that integrates SmartDeviceLink by about 2018.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags CES 2017

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?