Ford AppLink Brings Smartphone Navigation Apps to SYNC 3 for Touch Screen Access

Ford, in collaboration with Alibaba Group, integrates smartphone-based navigation through SmartDeviceLink; will lead to future implementation on SYNC via AppLink 3.0

Weeks after Ford introduced its next-generation SYNC® 3 in-vehicle connectivity system, the company today announced it is rolling out Ford SYNC AppLink 3.0 next year, giving customers the ability to access their favorite compatible navigation app – much as they do on a smartphone – on in-vehicle touch screens.

“The next version, AppLink 3.0, leverages open-source SmartDeviceLink functionality to give developers a method to project graphics – such as maps – onto our vehicle touch screens.”

“With each new version of AppLink, we’re improving the in-car experience with better integration of smartphone apps and easier ways for customers to access and control the content they love,” said Joe Beiser, Ford director, Connected Services for Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa. “The next version, AppLink 3.0, leverages open-source SmartDeviceLink functionality to give developers a method to project graphics – such as maps – onto our vehicle touch screens.”

This next version of AppLink benefits from the open-source SmartDeviceLink initiative that is driving new feature innovation. As part of that project, Ford is working with Alibaba, a global consumer Internet service, to extend the group’s map, navigation and music services to vehicles. This has led to the integration of SmartDeviceLink into AutoNavi, Alibaba’s app for navigation services, demonstrating how it can be projected onto a vehicle touch screen for seamless use – just like on a smartphone.

The collaboration with Alibaba is also putting more emphasis on development of SmartDeviceLink. Sharing Ford’s vision of a truly open-source smartphone-linking technology, Alibaba will not only integrate SmartDeviceLink into apps, but also become an active contributor driving evolution of the project.

Commitment to SmartDeviceLink

This next version of AppLink is part of Ford’s implementation of the open-source SmartDeviceLink technology that makes it easier for developers to create smartphone apps that are compatible with communications and entertainment systems from all automakers and suppliers.

The mission of SmartDeviceLink is to standardize and simplify the development process, and expand availability of in-car apps for consumers with well-known and well-established open-source methodology.

Ford, an active contributor to SmartDeviceLink, continues to make enhancements accessible through Genivi with the intention of expanding partnerships with mobile app developers. This will increase the markets where SmartDeviceLink technology is available and provide developers an easier path to getting their apps into more vehicles.

Ford already has rolled out its AppLink technology globally, including North America, South America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Three new markets are slated to come on board this year – Taiwan, New Zealand and Thailand.

AppLink is part of the Ford SYNC system. SYNC allows drivers to pair their mobile phones with a vehicle and control the radio, make and receive calls, and operate more features hands-free using voice controls.

By making AppLink software accessible to mobile app developers, Ford is providing a platform to make apps respond to voice commands through SYNC. Even with voice commands, customers should only use their SYNC system when it is safe to do so.

Upon launch later this year, SYNC 3 will include Ford’s current version of AppLink. The next version, AppLink 3.0, will be available at a later date. Information about Ford’s new communications and entertainment system, SYNC 3, can be found at media.ford.com.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan, manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 189,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.