Two longtime U.S. automakers, Buick and Ford, are making significant advances in the Internet of Things (IoT) sphere and embracing the future of interconnectivity.
Ford recently announced plans to expand its SYNC 3 connectivity platform, which allows compatibility of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, to all of its 2017 vehicles.
Meanwhile, General Motors plans to equip Buick cars with not only internet access, but also 4G LTE connectivity via its OnStar subsidiary, essentially transforming vehicles into mobile IoT devices, according to the latest Internet of Things Tracker. The tracker focuses on what companies across the space are doing in several IoT categories, including: data, devices, infrastructure, payments, security and software.
OnStar, a subscription-based in-vehicle service introduced to GM cars in the 1990s, initially started out as a hands-free communication platform that drivers could use to do a variety of tasks such as make calls or reservations to receive vehicle diagnostic information. However, with drivers routinely using OnStar’s navigational service, GM decided it was time to expand their cars’ connectivity by launching “AtYourService,” an integrated consumer rewards program that is now available to Buick’s OnStar subscribers.
Now, the service can be accessed by using the MyBuick app, a central program that allows users to find, unlock and also remotely start their cars. GM plans to merge the technology into Buick vehicles, and by the end of this year it wants to make the MyBuick app available for direct download through the IntelliLink system, an “infotainment” system that users can access through their vehicles’ radio screens.
Ford’s goal is to give their customers “convenient, easy-to-use mobility solutions,” according to a news statement released on the automaker’s website. The statement notes how the SYNC 3 features new hardware and software that makes the voice-activated technology more intuitive, while also enabling users to connect their iPhone or Android device so they can make hands-free phone calls and access available navigation.
Android Auto and CarPlay will be installed in Ford’s cars, electric vehicles, light trucks and SUVs. While CarPlay is compatible with the iPhone 5 and newer versions, Android Auto works on devices using Android 5.0 Lollipop or a more recent version of it.
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