Toyota has become the first car maker to adopt Ford’s open-source software SmartDeviceLink which allows access to smartphone apps via voice commands.

TOYOTA IS THE FIRST carmaker (outside of Ford, obviously) to adopt Ford’s open-source software SmartDeviceLink which is the foundation of Ford’s SYNC AppLink platform. Basically, SmartDeviceLink allows users to access their smartphone apps via voice commands. Automotive suppliers QNX Software Systems (used by around 40 vehicle manufacturers) and UIEvolution also are adopting the technology, with plans to integrate it into their products.

SmartDeviceLink is managed and developed by Livio, a wholly owned Ford subsidiary. It will manage the open-source project by working with SmartDeviceLink adopters to build the appropriate interfaces into each unique vehicle environment, rather than allowing that companies own developers to develop the code.

According to Ford, PSA Peugeot Citroën is investigating adding SmartDeviceLink to its vehicles. Automakers Honda, Mazda and Subaru also are considering adding the software.

“The true benefit of a common smartphone app communications interface is that it creates an industry standard – enabling great experiences for customers while allowing different companies the freedom to differentiate their individual brands,” said Don Butler, Ford executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services. “Ford is making the software available as open- source, because customers throughout the industry benefit if everybody speaks one language.”

“Developing a safer and more secure in-car smartphone connectivity service – which better matches individual vehicle features – is exactly the value and advantage an automaker can offer customers,” said Shigeki Terashi, executive vice president, Toyota Motor Corporation. “We expect that many companies share our view and will participate in the industry SmartDeviceLink collaboration.”


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