The push for connected cars is making for some strange bedfellows. In its push to let users access more of their smartphone apps directly through their car’s infotainment system, Toyota is turning to Ford Motor Co. for help.
Toyota will become the first maker to use open source software dubbed SmartDeviceLink. It’s essentially the same technology developed by Ford for use in its vehicles under the proprietary name AppLink. Ford wants to bring even more partners onboard, betting that it can set an industry standard that will make it easier for both carmakers and car buyers alike to access smartphone apps like Pandora, Spotify and iHeartRadio.
Ford is planning to offer an updated version of AppLink on its own cars later this year, making it possible to use smartphone navigation software in cars not equipped with a built-in navi system. But Ford is also rolling out Apple CarPlay and the similar Android Auto systems as part of its updated Sync3 infotainment technology.