Toyota and Ford May Hook up To Integrate Smartphone Apps Into Future Vehicles | Edmunds

Toyota and Ford May Hook up To Integrate Smartphone Apps Into Future Vehicles


DEARBORN, Michigan Toyota and Ford may work together on integrating smartphone applications into future vehicles, the two companies said on Wednesday.

Toyota has reached an agreement with Ford to explore collaboration with Livio, a Ford subsidiary, for the implementation of SmartDeviceLink technology in future Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

The move is seen as an alternative to Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto, as dashboards and connectivity become the next frontier for automakers and suppliers.

"Dashboard interface design and smartphone connectivity are key elements for product differentiation within the industry," said Don Butler, executive director of Ford Connected Vehicles and Services, in a statement. "At Ford, we view all aspects of time behind the wheel as core to the experience we provide customers."

Toyota said it is committed to developing "robust, flexible, safe and user-friendly connected services."

SmartDeviceLink technology allows companies such as iHeartRadio and Pandora to develop one app for use in multiple infotainment systems, while giving automakers the ability to design their own unique dashboards, Toyota and Ford said.

The benefit is that Toyota and Ford will be able to customize the overall look and feel of their connectivity and navigation systems. Consumers are not limited to having the latest devices, operating system software versions or platforms.

Edmunds says: Toyota and Ford may develop an alternative to CarPlay and Android Auto with their own systems.

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