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Toyota to use open-source version of Ford's AppLink

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Ford, through its Livio division, has announced a partnership with Toyota to equip future Toyota and Lexus vehicles with SmartDeviceLink (SDL) technology, an open-source version of Ford's AppLink. 

Similar to what Apple and Google offer with their own systems, drivers can command and control their smartphone apps through dashboard buttons, display screens, and voice recognition technology. This will give consumers more choice in how they connect and control their smartphones, and drive growth of the automotive developer community by creating apps that work across different brands and vehicles. 

“Dashboard interface design and smartphone connectivity are key elements for product differentiation within the industry,” said Don Butler, executive director, Ford Connected Vehicle and Services. “At Ford, we view all aspects of time behind the wheel as core to the experience we provide customers. We’re pleased other members of the industry feel the same way, and look forward to working together to drive even more support for the SDL developer community.” 

“We continue to investigate new technologies that both enhance and safeguard the driving experience of Toyota and Lexus owners,” said Shigeki Terashi, Senior Managing Officer, Toyota Motor Corporation. “The in-car app market is quickly evolving. Developing robust, flexible, safe and user-friendly connected services is a priority for us, and one that we believe is shared by Ford, Livio and other contributors to SDL technology.” 

Back in August 2011, Toyota and Ford signed a partnership to develop new standards for in-car technologies in order to make vehicles safer and improve the driving experience.