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Weeks after Ford introduced its next-generation SYNC® 3 in-vehicle connectivity system, the company today announced it is rolling out Ford SYNC AppLink™ 3.0 next year, giving customers the ability to access their favorite compatible navigation app – much as they do on a smartphone – on in-vehicle touch screens.
“With each new version of AppLink, we’re improving the in-car experience with better integration of smartphone apps and easier ways for customers to access and control the content they love,” said Joe Beiser, Ford director, Connected Services for Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa. “The next version, AppLink 3.0, leverages open-source SmartDeviceLink functionality to give developers a method to project graphics – such as maps – onto our vehicle touch screens.”
This next version of AppLink benefits from the open-source SmartDeviceLink initiative that is driving new feature innovation. As part of that project, Ford is working with Alibaba, a global consumer Internet service, to extend the group’s map, navigation and music services to vehicles. This has led to the integration of SmartDeviceLink into AutoNavi, Alibaba’s app for navigation services, demonstrating how it can be projected onto a vehicle touch screen for seamless use – just like on a smartphone.
The collaboration with Alibaba is also putting more emphasis on development of SmartDeviceLink. Sharing Ford’s vision of a truly open-source smartphone-linking technology, Alibaba will not only integrate SmartDeviceLink into apps, but also become an active contributor driving evolution of the project.
Commitment to SmartDeviceLink
This next version of AppLink is part of Ford’s implementation of the open-source SmartDeviceLink technology that makes it easier for developers to create smartphone apps that are compatible with communications and entertainment systems from all automakers and suppliers.
The mission of SmartDeviceLink is to standardize and simplify the development process, and expand availability of in-car apps for consumers with well-known and well-established open-source methodology.
Ford, an active contributor to SmartDeviceLink, continues to make enhancements accessible through Genivi with the intention of expanding partnerships with mobile app developers. This will increase the markets where SmartDeviceLink technology is available and provide developers an easier path to getting their apps into more vehicles.
Ford already has rolled out its AppLink technology globally, including North America, South America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Three new markets are slated to come on board this year – Taiwan, New Zealand and Thailand.
AppLink is part of the Ford SYNC system. SYNC allows drivers to pair their mobile phones with a vehicle and control the radio, make and receive calls, and operate more features hands-free using voice controls.
By making AppLink software accessible to mobile app developers, Ford is providing a platform to make apps respond to voice commands through SYNC. Even with voice commands, customers should only use their SYNC system when it is safe to do so.
Upon launch later this year, SYNC 3 will include Ford’s current version of AppLink. The next version, AppLink 3.0, will be available at a later date. Information about Ford’s new communications and entertainment system, SYNC 3, can be found at media.ford.com.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan, committed to helping build a better world, where every person is free to move and pursue their dreams. The company’s Ford+ plan for growth and value creation combines existing strengths, new capabilities and always-on relationships with customers to enrich experiences for customers and deepen their loyalty. Ford develops and delivers innovative, must-have Ford trucks, sport utility vehicles, commercial vans and cars and Lincoln luxury vehicles, along with connected services. The company does that through three customer-centered business segments: Ford Blue, engineering iconic gas-powered and hybrid vehicles; Ford Model e, inventing breakthrough EVs along with embedded software that defines exceptional digital experiences for all customers; and Ford Pro, helping commercial customers transform and expand their businesses with vehicles and services tailored to their needs. Additionally, Ford is pursuing mobility solutions through Ford Next, and provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. Ford employs about 174,000 people worldwide. More information about the company and its products and services is available at corporate.ford.com.