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SmartDeviceLink Gains Momentum as Industry-Driven Option for Smartphone App Integration into Vehicle Dashboards


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  • Open-source version of Ford AppLink, called SmartDeviceLink or SDL, is being studied by Toyota for future integration into vehicles for command and control of smartphone apps through dashboard buttons, display screens and voice recognition technology

  • Adoption of SDL by other vehicle manufacturers and suppliers gives customers more choice in how they connect and control their smartphones, and drives growth of the automotive developer community by creating apps that work across different brands and vehicles

  • SDL allows automakers to maintain control of user interface design for product differentiation while also helping provide an improved consumer experience through new entertainment, information and navigation app development

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DEARBORN, MI -- June 3, 2015: – With today’s announcement of Toyota exploring adoption of SmartDeviceLink technology, traction is gaining for the open-source software project goal of creating an automotive industry-based solution for integrating smartphone apps into vehicles.

“Dashboard interface design and smartphone connectivity are key elements for product differentiation within the industry,” said Don Butler, executive director, Ford Connected Vehicle and Services. “At Ford, we view all aspects of time behind the wheel as core to the experience we provide customers. We’re pleased other members of the industry feel the same way, and look forward to working together to drive even more support for the SDL developer community.”

In Ford vehicles equipped with SYNC, AppLink serves as the application programming interface that allows smartphone apps such as Spotify, Glympse, iHeartRadio, Pandora and others to be easily accessed by drivers using voice recognition and dashboard controls.

Ford created SmartDeviceLink by contributing the AppLink software to the open-source community. The goal is to help drive growth of the automotive app developer community and provide automakers a way to maintain innovative and differentiated connectivity and navigation systems that deliver on their customers’ expectations for smartphone app integration.

SDL software allows access to in-vehicle controls including display screens, buttons and the voice recognition engine to deliver a fully integrated app experience for customers.