In a somewhat surprising move, Japanese car maker Toyota has opted to go with technology being developed by their putative rivals over at Ford for their IoT car expansions, as opposed to the options on offer from Apple or Google.
Ford’s SmartDeviceLink (SDL) is an open source software system that allows drivers to access their smartphone apps through the dashboard screen or voice control. According to reporting out of the CES (going on in Vegas as you read) Toyota will be integrating the tech into forthcoming models.
So why go with a competitor, instead of the at least apparently neutral Apple or Google?
After seeing the glorious experience the phone companies had with Apple (and to a lesser extent Android), auto companies are not rushing to a world where they get to be the next makers of dumb-pipes for technologists, nor are they particularly excited about having their tech specs dictated to them by outsiders.
Ford, interestingly enough, said it would also allow its vehicles to work with Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto, and has noted in the past that they think the technologist interest in cars is “awesome”.
But not so awesome Ford didn’t build an open source alternative to it.
“Ford is making the software available as open source, because customers throughout the industry benefit if everybody speaks one language,” Butler said in a press release on Monday.
Spotify and iHeartRadio are among several smartphone apps that have been integrated with Ford’s SDL software.