Now Ford, Toyota, Peugeot-Citroen, Suzuki, Subaru parent company Fuji Heavy Industries and a group of suppliers want to change that by offering an open-source software platform to give users more choice in how they connect and use smartphone apps in their vehicles.
The SmartDeviceLink Consortium plans to use Ford’s AppLink software, which is currently used in more than 5 million vehicles, as the basis for the new open-source platform. The new platform will allow smartphone app developers to better integrate their app functions into in-vehicle tech including infotainment screens, steering wheel controls and voice-activated features.
“Encouraging innovation is at the center of Ford’s decision to create SmartDeviceLink, and this consortium is a major step toward that goal,” said Doug VanDagens, global director, Ford Connected Vehicle and Services. “Consumers will win with new, innovative app experiences from increased collaboration and developer engagement.”
This new uniform standard will not only benefit developers but also consumers, as the open-source format will promote greater software security.
“Connectivity between smartphones and the vehicle interface is one of the most important connected services. Using SmartDeviceLink, we can provide this service to our customers in a safe and secure manner,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, president of Toyota’s Connected Company. “We are excited to collaborate with many auto manufacturers and suppliers who share our view.”
Toyota plans to offer a telematics system in its cars based on SmartDeviceLink, or SDL, around 2018.