Ford has already been at the forefront of smart car technology, and is maintaining its position by announcing that it would be releasing the source code for its Sync AppLink platform to Genivi. Genivi is an open source development platform that focuses on the adoption of In-Vehicle Infotainment. Its aim is to create a platform for in-vehicle systems that could cross manufacturer lines. With this release, Ford hopes to encourage app development for its Sync system.
Ford had previously released their OpenXC Platform to competing automakers, which focuses on bringing the vehicle’s sensor information into smart car systems. The Sync platform, however, focuses on the development of apps. This helps broaden Ford’s chances at making its Sync platform a standard in the auto industry by opening its arms up to app developers as well as technicians.
Due to fragmentation of the in-vehicle app ecosystem, incentives for app developers to make an app for these systems are less than the benefits gained by developing for iOS or Android. While it may take a while for developers to warm up to existing in-vehicle systems as well as emerging ones, the sync technology promises to link up with any iOS or Android device. This software is known as SmartPhoneLink, and will be released under an open source licence.
As more and more automobile manufacturers start integrating in-vehicle “smart” features, we will surely see the demand for apps grow. Thanks to the Genivi project and participants like Ford, a stable app ecosystem will develop, which will enable us to kick back and relax on that commute home.