Ford wants to take over the world… of in-car infotainment systems, that is.
Last month during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Ford announced its plan to open the system underpinning its Sync AppLink to any automaker willing to use it. For free. Now the blue oval brand is soldiering forward with its plan of attack on the burgeoning infotainment industry. Today, it announced it would give that same system to the GENIVI Alliance.
The group is a nonprofit organization aimed at promoting an open-source platform for app development with vehicle infotainment systems..
“Ford wants to see app developers succeed in their work with the auto industry,” said Doug VanDagens, global director of Connected Services at Ford. “Contributing the AppLink software to GENIVI demonstrates our commitment to be developer-focused which supports our drive for consumer-focused innovation.”
Many automakers are struggling with how to build solid infotainment systems, and the industry often rewards prudence. Chrysler’s uConnect system is often seen as easy to use and straightforward. But Chrysler lagged behind the industry to watch where others fell down.
That might not be such a successful approach in the future as Ford peers outside the car world, looking to smartphones for direction. In much the same way, the brand is hoping open source app development will allow for rapid technological progress.
“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. “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.”
If Ford’s plan proves to be a success, it could serve to create a widely adopted platform that could change in-car app development immensely.
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