Ford Contributes to AppLink To Open-Source GENIVI Alliance, Gives Automotive App Developers a Boost

Feb 26, 2013 01:44 PM EST | Matt Mercuro

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Ford Motor Co. announced today that they'll be expanding their commitment to help continue the growth of automotive apps by contributing their AppLink software to the GENIVI Alliance according to a company press release.

AppLink, Ford's in-car smartphone app interface system, allows apps from connected smartphones to be controlled through the vehicle's interface through voice recognition and audio buttons.

"Ford wants to see app developers succeed in their work with the auto industry," said Doug VanDagens, global director of Connected Services at Ford in the press release. "Contributing the AppLink software to GENIVI demonstrates our commitment to be developer-focused which supports our drive for consumer-focused innovation."

Last month Ford announced they'd be releasing the first open mobile app developer program at the 2013 International CES and revealed they're also dedicated towards working with developers to help continue the growth of app integration according to the company press release.

As Ford pointed out, new apps will "attract customers" to the AppLink platform system, which means more developers are needed to design and think up fresh ideas. The company will establish a "new open-source" GENIVI project, that will be maintained by Ford engineers.

"GENIVI is pleased to host the SmartPhoneLink project as one of its growing number of public open source projects," said Steve Crumb, executive director, GENIVI Alliance in the press release. "Ford's commitment to contributing its AppLink software technology to a broader base of developers fits perfectly with GENIVI's commitment to drive adoption of open source software in the automotive community."

The project will reportedly contain all of the documentation and code necessary to execute the AppLink software into the vehicle audio system to allow two-way communications with Apple iOS and Google Android devices.

The GENIVI Allience is a non-profit organization designed and committed to "driving the broad adoption" of all in-vehicle infotainment platforms.

Ford has more than 1 million cars, trucks and SUVs on the road in North America equipped with AppLink including Fiesta, Fusion, Mustang, F-150 and E-Series vehicles.

"Mobile app developers want a standard cross-OEM platform on which to write code," said Sal Dhanani, vice president and general manager of Telenav's automotive business in the company press release. "Telenav will help define the communication protocol between smartphones and the vehicle's head unit to ensure drivers have a high quality and personalized connected navigation experience."

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