Ford is already known as one of the pioneers in the smart car technology thanks to its partnership with Microsoft over SYNC. Like that’s not enough, they are turning attention to the growing trend in hardware hacking by transforming vehicles into an “experimental development environment.” To that end, the company is launching the OpenXC research platform and making it available to all “makers” and do-it-yourselfers.
Developers can download the OpenXC kit that includes a vehicle interface module based on the popular Arduino platform which can be used to read data from the vehicle’s internal communications network. The hardware module provides real-time access to parameters like the vehicle sensors, GPS receiver and vehicle speed.
The read-only system is designed to keep everything isolated from the vehicle control systems, while the OpenXC website provides schematics, documentation and code for open-source hardware modules, including the wireless solar-powered heads-up display developed by OpenXC co-founder Bug Labs.
Some of the areas developers can target with OpenXC include big data and user experience enhancements, though only the sky is the limit. We’re eager to see what smart companies can do with this and are looking forward to the bright future with smarter cars roaming our roads…