Future of Car & Smartphone Integration: Ford & Toyota To Support Forces Connecting Driver With In-car Technologies

Jan 05, 2017 02:45 PM EST | Joyce Vega

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Remember when people thought by 2017 there will be smart-flying cars? Well, the technology is advancing very fast and Toyota and Ford already joined their forces and announced the SmartDeviceLink Consortium, an open source software for the interface of Android and iOS smartphone apps with their vehicle infotainment systems. The first makers of the consortium are Mazda Motor, PSA Group, Fuji Heavy Industries and Suzuki Motor.

According to PC World, Elektrobit, Luxoft, and Xevo already combined their forces while Harman, Panasonic, Pioneer, and QNX have signed letters to join Ford and Toyota. BlackBerry’s software is already powering Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system. With this open source platform the car makers people can integrate applications on the vehicle’s display screen, steering wheel controls and voice recognition. This project will be managed by Livio and will work with adopters to build the interfaces for each vehicle environment. Some phone companies like Apple and Google are already offering technologies that will integrate smartphone with the infotainment system of cars. There will be a lot of smartphone functions that can be controlled from the car interfaces. Drivers can control their smartphones and cars with voice commands and there are more than 5 million vehicles available globally.

Creating a standard smartphone integration in cars is one of the biggest challenges the car makers are facing. Ford is currently working on solving the problem with their SmartDeviceLink open-source software while Toyota will manufacture outside of Ford itself to adopt the standard for its vehicles, Auto Blog reported. These applications will allow the driver to access applications with vocal commands and control the steering wheel. This application will work on the same platform, users can think of it like the Android OS for smartphones, the software developers will create one program which will run on million vehicles in 2018. A lot of carmakers are interested in this SmartDeviceLink and a lot of them has agreed to start using the standard.

Toyota has already declined Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto in the vehicles saying this will only diminish the driver’s safety and the security standards. Ford, on the other hand, remains supportive of an open-source software platform where all developers can use as an alternative to CarPlay and Android Auto. As Mac Rumors reported, the organization’s goal is to connect the in-car technologies with the driver making it easier for them to use their smartphones while driving.

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