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DEARBORN, MI, Sept. 2, 2015 – Coming on the heels of the release of Ford’s latest generation of SYNC®, Ford Motor Company has announced that its second annual SYNC AppLink™ Developer Conference will be held in collaboration with TechCrunch Disrupt SF.
For the first time, the Sept. 19 event will be held in San Francisco, capitalizing on the region’s resources as a technology hub and leveraging Ford’s recent expansion of its Research and Innovation Center in Palo Alto.
“Ford was the first automaker to host a developer conference, and at the event last year we experienced the power of innovation within the developer community,” said Doug VanDagens, global director, Connected Services Solutions at Ford Motor Company. “For the second annual hackathon, we hope to break new ground and discover new ways to enhance the in-car experience.”
Ford invites mobile app developers to join the global Ford developer team to create original apps that leverage Ford technology in order to enhance or even redefine the role of the automobile in enhancing the in-car experience for customers by integrating their favorite apps or creating all new ones that improve their time behind the wheel.
Those interested in attending the Ford Developer Conference can register at: http://techcrunch.com/events/disrupt-sf-hackathon-2015/ford-developer-conference/
Since rolling out the automotive industry’s first Developer Program in 2013, over 13,000 developers have registered and over 24,000 software development kits (SDK) have been downloaded. There are also more than 90 AppLink-compatible smartphone apps running on iOS and Android devices around the world. The AppLink API (application programming interface) has been integrated into some of the world’s most popular smartphone apps, including Pandora, Spotify, Glympse, Sina Weibo and QQ Music. Through the Developer Program, Ford hopes to grow the app ecosystem even further, especially in new categories such as health and wellness, connected home, productivity and mobile payments.
Ford created SmartDeviceLink (SDL) 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. Toyota is studying SDL for future integration into vehicles for command and control of smartphone apps through dashboard buttons, display screens and voice recognition technology
Attendees will hear from the Ford Developer team and learn how to create in-vehicle features that explore capabilities presented with the availability of vehicle-generated data. Immediately following the conference, all developers are invited to participate in a 24-hour hackathon, after which developers will present their ideas to a panel of judges and audience members. The winners of the hackathon will earn the opportunity to present their product on the TechCrunch Disrupt stage.
Since launching AppLink, Ford has worked with developers ranging from two-person startups to established brands. At the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon in 2011, Ford awarded ROXIMITY as the winner of the SYNC AppLink Developer Challenge, and the company has since grown to be a successful startup. ROXIMITY provides users with up-to-date, relevant discounts or special notifications to their smartphone, which can be relayed to them audibly via AppLink upon request.
FuelSignal was one of 10 finalists chosen at the first Ford Developer Conference in 2014 and was announced as the grand prize winner, joining Ford onstage at CES 2015. FuelSignal leveraged Ford’s SYNC AppLink and data from the City of Los Angeles to create an innovative app allowing users to sign up and receive discounted gas prices and earn loyalty credits for use at gas stations.
Ford is also hosting its first-ever AppLink Developer Challenge in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 11-12, and is inviting the developer community to be part of it.
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.