On the Road to Making Complicated Car Infotainment Systems Simpler
Toyota announced today that they will be entering an agreement with Ford to use SmartDeviceLink (SDL) – an open-source platform for smartphone apps and car connectivity. If SDL becomes an industry standard, then carmakers and app developers can build better integrated infotainment systems using phone apps that are familiar to the user.
Similar to how Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto work, the connected smartphone apps become the primary experience on the dashboard, providing navigation, media and other integrated apps to the car. The makes the experience instantly recognizable and simple to the user instead of having to learn a manufacturer’s proprietary platform. It also means that expensive upgrades in cars can be eliminated and the in-car experience becomes the same regardless of what brand of car you’re sitting in.
Ford is making SDL available as open-source code to developers. Thus, software developers can add extensions to their mobile apps and enable them to work in cars that are SmartDeviceLink compatible, much like how CarPlay and Android Auto are implemented.
Six months ago Toyota began exploring the possibility of using SDL in their vehicles. Today, Ford’s SDL platform gains important momentum and becomes more appealing to developers with the advent of getting smartphone apps to work in both Ford’s current cars and future Toyota cars, too. According to CNET, Honda, Subaru, Mazda and PSA Peugeot Citroen are studying the possibility of adding SmartDeviceLink capability to their cars, as well.
Watch this TFLcar video to see how Ford goes about studying trends that lend insights to the company’s future products and strategy.