AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS

Toyota, Ford form SmartDeviceLink Consortium to rival Apple, Google

Toyota, Ford form SmartDeviceLink Consortium to rival Apple, Google image

Eric Tipan / Toyota | January 05, 2017 11:27

Mazda, Suzuki and others join Toyota-Ford Smart DeviceLink Consortium

Ever had the dilemma of managing your smartphone’s apps between two or three of the vehicles that you own?

Currently, there isn’t a single platform that’s compatible between automakers. They setup their system based on their own design without consideration of what other automakers are putting together.

As awesomely unique as it will seem to each automaker, this makes for a confusing situation for consumers who own more than one vehicle with different brands.

That problem may soon be solved by a new non-profit organization formed by Toyota Motor Company and Ford Motor Company called SmartDeviceLink Consortium.

The two automakers seek to manage an open-source software platform that aims to give consumers more options in how they connect and control their smartphone apps while driving.

So far, Mazda Motor Corporation, PSA Group, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI) and Suzuki Motor Corporation have joined as members of the consortium while Elektrobit, Luxoft, and Xevo have joined as suppliers. Harman, Panasonic, Pioneer and QNX have signed Letters of Intent to join.

With SmartDeviceLink, automakers will now have a uniform set of standards to follow when integrating apps into their infotainment system. This will make accessing apps easier and simpler for consumers. Developers, on the other hand, will also benefit because they can focus on the best user interface by using only one linking solution for use by all automakers, whether it be vehicle display screen, steering wheel controls and/or voice recognition.

“Connectivity between smartphones and the vehicle interface is one of the most important connected services. Using SmartDeviceLink, we can provide this service to our customers in a safe and secure manner. We are excited to collaborate with many auto manufacturers and suppliers who share our view,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, president of Toyota’s Connected Company.

“Encouraging innovation is at the center of Ford’s decision to create SmartDeviceLink, and this consortium is a major step toward that goal. Consumers will win with new, innovative app experiences from increased collaboration and developer engagement,” said Doug VanDagens, global director, Ford Connected Vehicle and Services.