Companies Join ‘SmartDeviceLink’ Consortium to Dethrone Apple’s CarPlay

Companies Join 'SmartDeviceLink' Consortium to Dethrone Apple's CarPlay
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In an effort to compete against Apple CarPlay and Google Auto, Ford and Toyota have banded together to form the SmartDeviceLink Consortium. The two unlikely partners issued a joint announcement that a range of car manufacturers including Fuji Heavy Industries, Mazda, Suzuki, and the PSA Group have come aboard, as well as Telco, Elektrobit Automotive, and software developer Luxoft.

The burgeoning industry group hopes that together it can develop a smartphone-connected car infotainment system that is supported by a large array of automobiles in the long run. The PSA Group, for example, is the second largest car manufacturer in Europe that produces Citroen, Peugot, and DS automobiles.

SmartDeviceLink (SDL) began as AppLink, a platform that allows app developers to link their products to Ford’s Sync infotainment system. SDL was open-sourced in 2013 and eventually adopted by Toyota. The SDL code is hosted on Github, where any developer can contribute apps and code for SDL cars. Car manufacturers and OEMs in the consortium retain final say on how to integrate such apps into their developer programs and create their desired user experience. Certain features that SDL plans to develop include voice passthrough, wireless projection, and mobile navigation services.

The idea is to create a unified platform that supports innovation and competition against Google and Apple, while giving members flexibility to control the user experience and interface their cars provide. Ford, for instance, supports SDL, Google Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Toyota, on the other hand, announced last year that it will not support CarPlay.

Featured Image: CNET
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