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Quality Digest


Ford’s Smartphone App Interface to Become OEM Standard

First wave of automakers and industry suppliers adopt SmartDeviceLink (SDL) software

Published: Wednesday, January 6, 2016 - 12:33

(Quality Digest: Chico, CA) -- The IoT just took a giant leap forward. Ford Motor Co. has announced that the first wave of automakers and industry suppliers will adopt SmartDeviceLink (SDL), Ford’s open-source smartphone app interface software that allows smartphone apps like Spotify, Glympse, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and others to be easily accessed by drivers in non-Ford vehicles using voice recognition and dashboard control.

Toyota Motor Corp. will lead the adoption of SDL, and automotive suppliers QNX Software Systems and UIEvolution have plans to integrate the technology into their products. Additionally, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Honda, Mazda, and Subaru are considering adding the software.

By adopting Ford’s technology, automakers and suppliers are helping to accelerate an industry standard that will increase the number of apps available for in-vehicle use. With common industry software, developers can focus on creating the best experience on one platform.

For its own vehicles, Ford announced that it is expanding its SYNC connectivity system, adding Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 4G LTE, and several new AppLink apps to help millions of customers stay connected behind the wheel.

Details include:
Android Auto and Apple CarPlayStarting this year, owners of SYNC 3-equipped vehicles will have more choice in how they access their smartphones in the car. iPhone users can activate Apple CarPlay, and Android users can activate Android Auto, two interfaces built specifically for those types of smartphones. In North America, Ford is making Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available on all 2017 vehicles equipped with SYNC 3, starting with the new Ford Escape.
SYNC Connect technology: Powered by 4G LTE, SYNC Connect technology gives owners the ability to remotely access features of their car. Owners can program a remote start, unlock doors, check fuel level, or locate a parked vehicle via their smartphones.
New AppLink apps: Ford SYNC AppLink adds new apps, including AAA member services, Concur expense-report tracking, and Eventseeker to find nearby music and other entertainment.


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For 40 years Quality Digest has been the go-to source for all things quality. Our newsletter, Quality Digest, shares expert commentary and relevant industry resources to assist our readers in their quest for continuous improvement. Our website includes every column and article from the newsletter since May 2009 as well as back issues of Quality Digest magazine to August 1995. We are committed to promoting a view wherein quality is not a niche, but an integral part of every phase of manufacturing and services.