Ford has released its Software Developer Kit (SDK) to a new set of smartphone app developers so that they can integrate new and existing apps to work through the hands-free Ford Sync system. This marks the latest move by Ford in its efforts to create a safer and smarter mobile device experience, in relation to use in autos.
“We know we can do better things for our customers by allying with the companies that provide the devices and services they already use, trust and value,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development, to the wireless telecommunications community at the annual CTIA Enterprise and Applications Conference. “What we see emerging as we explore new ways to safely enhance connectivity and reinvent the driving experience is a mutually beneficial “˜collaborative community” where our shared customer ““ anyone who drives a car and owns a smartphone ““ is the true beneficiary.”
Ford is cautious with the process however, and has imposed restrictions as the company acknowledges that not all apps should be used, hands-free or otherwise, while driving. The company is evaluating existing apps with appropriate in-car usability.
Thus far, the categories include:
* Personalized entertainment such as Pandora Internet radio
* Personalized information and news such as Stitcher smart radio or Orangatame”s OpenBeak
* Location-based services including navigation, traffic and business searches
* Notifications and alerts leveraging SYNC”s ability to mash up vehicle information, GPS locations and more, all to provide the driver with customized information and guidance
* Financial apps that, for example, provide alerts such as stock price drops or overdrafts and, in the future, drive-by payments
* Scheduling and planning apps that could include notifications of flight status, for instance, in the event flights are delayed or rescheduled
– By: Stephen Calogera