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Wired: Ford making Sync AppLink open source, free for any automaker to use

Posted Jan 9th 2013 9:14AM

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Ford Sync AppLink

Automakers aren't necessarily known for their sharing skills unless some sort of mutual agreement is in place, but it seems that Ford is looking to create a universal architecture based on its Sync AppLink on which other companies (including rival automakers) can run in-car apps free of charge. With the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show going on, Wired sat down with Ford's Doug VanDagens, director of connected services, who talked about what such a tech-sharing plan could do for Ford and the industry.

Giving up some of the technology behind Sync AppLink would obviously put Ford in a place to become a bigger name in cabin tech, but on the grander scheme of things, it could help bring more apps to users. Currently, each automaker uses its own technologies, which means that creating an app for each system would be expensive and time consuming – a reason why current in-car apps are limited to bigger names like Pandora and iHeart Radio. Ford's plan would not only make it easier for app developers and automakers, it would also open the door for more aftermarket head units to improve infotainment capabilities as well.

When asked by Autoblog, a Ford rep at CES said that while other automakers could potentially use their open-source software, Ford didn't necessarily expect it to happen.

To get the full boatload of details about Ford's proposed tech-sharing plan, head on over to Wired.

Autoblog Short Cuts: Ford Sync and MyFord Touch Demo

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