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Toyota, Ford Look to Team up for Connected Cars

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June 5, 2015—On Wednesday, Toyota revealed that it will look at the development of Ford’s AppLink connected-car infotainment system to help further its own technology.

This move shows that the auto world is willing to collaborate to please consumers who wish to connect their smartphones into their automobiles, according to a report in USA Today.

Currently, Toyota runs a system called Entune but they are looking into adopting the SmartDeviceLink (SDL) platform, which is an open-source version of Ford’s AppLink system.

When combined with Ford’s new Sync infotainment system, AppLink allows smartphone users to interact with apps on the car’s touch-screen or through voice command.

Led by Livio, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford, the SDL project software allows developers access to in-vehicle controls like its voice recognition system and display screen.

Many automakers are looking toward the connected-car devices, many offering connectivity to either or both Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. In these cars, consumers plug in their iOS or Android phone and the car instantly recognizes the device and creates a complimentary screen. Voice commands can be used for most tasks.

By the end of 2016, Ford has said that the entire model range would be CarPlay and Android Auto compatible and Chevrolet announced that a dozen 2016 models would also offer access to both systems.

Ford and Toyota first agreed to collaborate in 2011 on telematics. This announcement extends the ongoing collaboration.

"At Ford, we view all aspects of time behind the wheel as core to the experience we provide customers," Ford connected vehicles director Don Butler said in a statement, according to USA Today. "We're please 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."

At this time, Toyota has not revealed a timeline for getting the SDL-based infotainment system in its fleet.

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