Toyota, Ford Challenge Apple-Google Car Screens

January 04, 2016

Logo: Ford
Logo: Ford

Toyota has adopted Ford's SmartDeviceLink (SDL) platform that provides an alternative to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to integrate smartphones with their vehicles.

The announcement comes as many automakers including General Motors, Volkswagen, and Volvo have added the Apple and Android interface platforms across their vehicle lineup for the 2016 model year. In some cases, extensive testing of the platforms has led to delays in their rollout. Hyundai announced last week it would offer the systems after a yearlong delay.

Rather than offer these platforms, Ford and Toyota hope to offer the SmartDeviceLink platform developed by Livio as an open-source system. Honda, Mazda, and Subaru are also considering using it, according to Ford.

The SmartDeviceLink software is the basis of the Ford SYNC AppLink platform. The software offers cunsimers "more choice in how they connect and control their smartphone apps on the road," according to a Ford release.

Additionally, Ford and Toyota hope the system becomes an industry standard for integrating smartphones in vehicles.

"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, Toyota executive vice president.

Toyota and Ford entered a collaboration agreement for next generation in-car telematics system standardization in August of 2011. Toyota entered into an agreement with Ford and Livio to explore SDL introduction to its vehicles in June. Toyota’s investigation and consideration of SDL has been completed successfully, and the company found SDL suitable for its in-car app connectivity.

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