Hands-free is where it’s at—or should that be, where it’s app? Ford has started to release its Software Development Kit (SDK) to the next round of developers so that they can modify existing smartphone apps for voice command and control through the Ford SYNC voice recognition system. “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,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development.
Ford is reviewing more than 1,000 submissions made on the SYNC Developer website for future SDK release. The release marks the latest move by Ford to forge a more open collaborative bond with the wireless, consumer electronics and app developer communities to create a safer and smarter in-car connectivity experience. The first app partners include Pandora Internet radio, Stitcher smart radio, and Orangatame’s OpenBeak, with more to be announced soon. Further down the road, Ford will also examine the potential of apps that can provide exciting new levels of safety knowledge as well as improvements in driver productivity and convenience.
Ford is in the process of evaluating the potential of existing apps for in-car use, including categories for finance, such as alerts about stock price drops and drive-by payments, location-based services like navigation, traffic and business searches, and scheduling and planning, such as when flights are delayed or rescheduled.
“We know our customers want connectivity from a convenience perspective and need it from a safety perspective,” said Kuzak. “We want to leverage growing network speeds to create a world of apps on wheels that makes the vehicle experience simpler, safer, more productive and convenient.”