Toyota and Ford Create Automaker Group to Promote Open Source Smartphone Interfaces

by

Ford and Toyota have formed a four-automaker consortium to speed up the deployment of open source software for connected in-car systems, according to a report by Bloomberg on Wednesday.

The SmartDeviceLink Consortium, which includes Mazda, PSA Group, Fuji, and Suzuki, aims to prevent Apple and Google from controlling how drivers connect smartphones to their vehicles. Suppliers Elektrobit, Harma, Luxoft, QNX, and Xevo have also joined the organization, which is named after an open source version of Ford's AppLink connectivity interface, a system used in over 5 million vehicles globally.

CarPlay-Ford'
The non-profit group's goal is to promote more choice in how drivers connect to in-car technologies like dashboard displays, steering wheel controls and voice recognition systems. By using an open source platform, the automakers hope to set a standard by which they and their suppliers can integrate smartphones with vehicles, and thereby attract developers who can then integrate the universal linking technology into their software.

Toyota has so far resisted including Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto in its vehicles, arguing that doing so would diminish safety and security standards. Ford offers them on all its 2017 model vehicles, but remains supportive of an open-source software platform that all app developers can use as an alternative to Carplay and Android Auto.

The open source project will be managed by Livio, a software startup Ford acquired in 2013. Livio will work with early adopters to build the interfaces and infotainment systems for each vehicle environment.

Apple's own system, CarPlay, brings Maps, Phone, Messages, Music, Podcasts, and a number of third-party apps, such as Spotify, to a vehicle's dashboard. Apple announced CarPlay with several big-name partners already on board, like BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, and more.

Due to Apple's commitment to user privacy, CarPlay collects very little data from users and car manufacturers. According to information released by Porsche, Apple only collects information on whether a car is accelerating while CarPlay is in use. This is in stark contrast to Android Auto, which collects a lot more car data when in use.

Related Roundup: CarPlay

Top Rated Comments

kd5jos Avatar
53 months ago
This is what happens when companies that don't understand a technology decide to use the technology they don't understand.

First we have problems with security (my Jeep Renegade is an example). Second we have problems with accessibility. This consortium is an example. They think that what I want when buying a car is another device to take care of, that exists outside the ecosystem of the devices I have.

They operate under the idea that, "choice is always better." Well, choice is good. If I can choose to use my iPhone with their system, okay, great, no complaints.

The problem I have is when the OS is "Open Source" meaning anyone can develop for it instead of any device can connect through it. I don't WANT to use Spotify, I already have a music app and don't want to spend money on another damn subscription. I don't WANT to use another GPS app, I already know how to use mine...

The apps I have are the same across my iPhone, iPad, and Mac. That's great you want to build an Open Source OS, but I don't NEED an Open Source OS, I NEED CarPlay.

Toyota's assertion that they don't use CarPlay because safety, is asinine. "We aren't going to give you the ability to use your device without having to look at it because it's more safe that way..."

Before anyone goes "fanboi" on me.... The same can be said of Android and Windows.

I don't WANT to deal with ANOTHER OS. This is why I work in a single ecosystem. Give me complete access to my single ecosystem. Period.

Demanding consumers buy the best in class for each item they purchase is the way things worked ten years ago. I buy the devices that get the job done inside the ecosystem I use. I've bought a system, not a group of devices I figure out how to kludge together into a system.

For now, I'm with Apple. The quality has dropped as of late, and the only thing preventing me from being an Android user is that I don't want my data to be a commodity. If I thought I could trust google with my data, I may jump ship. Windows? Their still in the "Win95" of the mobile market. That and they are the targets of most exploits.

Welcome to 2017. It's about "system" now, not just device.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rdlink Avatar
53 months ago
This is complete and total BS. This is the doublespeak for the crap that the automakers have been foisting on us for years. Disjointed and poorly conceived interfaces that are confusing and frustrating. Ford is the worst of the bunch.

No CarPlay? No sale.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Andres Cantu Avatar
53 months ago
I guess they will have to learn the hard way, you can't compete with Apple and Google in tech.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bnekic Avatar
53 months ago
If an automaker doesn't offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto you're out of the game.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dotnet Avatar
53 months ago

Toyota has so far resisted including Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto in its vehicles

...and has thus lost my business, after 20 years of patronage.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
emm386 Avatar
53 months ago
I would really appreciate an open-source communication interface here! Choice and common industry standards have so far always made my life in IT a lot easier!

Though Apple (and Google - just to be fair) would probably go thermonuclear war on this approach...

But one can dream!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
iphone 12 vs iphone 12 mini

Apple Shifting Some Production From iPhone 12 mini to iPhone 12 Pro to Meet Demand

Wednesday January 20, 2021 8:12 am PST by
Apple has reportedly cut production of the iPhone 12 mini by two million units to create more manufacturing capacity for the iPhone 12 Pro, according to a new Morgan Stanley investment note seen by PED30. Apple is believed to have made the switch for the first quarter of 2021 in an effort to combat continuing lead times for the more popular iPhone 12 Pro. iPhone 12 Pro lead times remain ...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...
iPhone OIS Feature2

Sensor-Shift Camera Stabilization Rumored to Expand to Entire iPhone 13 Lineup

Wednesday January 20, 2021 7:46 am PST by
The entire iPhone 13 lineup will feature sensor-shift optical image stabilization, compared to only the iPhone 12 Pro Max among current models, according to a brief story preview shared today by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. "Apple's next-generation iPhones slated for launch in the second half of 2021 will all come with sensor-shift stabilization technology, according to industry...