Ford and Toyota ally to forge a new trend in connectivity software image

Toyota said it will adopt Ford’s software that links smart devices to car’s system in an attempt to counter Apple and Google’s similar connectivity solutions.

The battle for car connection supremacy has toughened, as Toyota Motor has announced it is adopting SmartDeviceLink (SDL), Ford’s smartphone app interface software, as the standard for connecting smartphone apps to cars infotainment systems. SmartDeviceLink is the open-source software on which the Ford SYNC AppLink platform is built. It provides users a way to access their favorite smartphone apps using voice commands. Automotive suppliers QNX Software Systems and UIEvolution are also adopting the technology, with plans to integrate it into their products. Ottawa, Canada-based QNX, a BlackBerry subsidiary, offers a comprehensive portfolio of infotainment, telematics, safety and acoustics solutions used by more than 40 automotive manufacturers.

Using it as a standard for projecting navigation or music streaming apps from a driver’s smartphone could help Ford and Toyota reduce dependence on Apple or Alphabet Inc’s Google, company officials said. It could also keep tighter control of customer data and the brand-defining look and feel of dashboard infotainment systems, they added. Ford says industry-wide adoption of SmartDeviceLink will help the technology spread to new markets, such as China, a country in which Google has a limited presence. Ford also claims PSA Peugeot Citroen is investigating adding SDL to its vehicles and automakers Honda, Mazda and Subaru are considering adding the software as well. However, the battle with Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto will be a hard one to win, as many automakers are adopting their systems to respond to customer demands for better connections between cars and smartphones.