Toyota & Lexus Look to Ford for Infotainment Solution

Lexus Ford Partnership

Toyota and Ford are exploring a collaboration in regards to smartphone vehicle intergration, using Ford’s SmartDeviceLink (SDL) technology.

SDL is an open-source platform that bridges smartphone apps and in-car infotainment, similar to the CarPlay and Android Auto systems recently introduced by Apple and Google — from Craig Trudell at Bloomberg:

By exploring a collaboration, Toyota and Ford are showing caution against letting Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto dictate the future of in-car entertainment and navigation systems. Dashboards have become a battleground for carmakers as they seek to attract younger customers who demand connectivity features in their rides.

“They’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears and a lot of r&d resources into developing their own systems, so how can you then say, ‘OK, Google and Apple, come in and take over?’” said Mark Boyadjis, an analyst for IHS Automotive. “The car companies need to be very shrewd with how they integrate things like CarPlay and Android Auto.”

(There’s ample room for negativity with this news, but it’s also worth pointing out that the addition of this new technology does not necessarily mean the subtraction of the Apple & Google systems — all three systems can co-exist on the same system.)

Information from Bloomberg & Toyota