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Toyota to use SmartDeviceLink from Ford, Leave Google Out

January 4, 2016 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Toyota announced a few months ago, that they had no plans to implement Google’s Android Auto or Apple’s CarPlay into their infotainment systems in their vehicles. The main reason is that they don’t want to give “the keys” to Google or Apple. Both of which are wanting a bit of data from cars that are using their services. This is mainly to make the services better, but Toyota isn’t having any of it. Ford was in the same boat, and said last year, that they were not going to commit to Google and Apple until they found a way to implement Android Auto and CarPlay that would benefit them. And it seems they have, as they announced Android Auto and CarPlay support this morning.

Ford also has SmartDeviceLink, which is what powers the apps in their SYNC 3 platform. It is open sourced, so that other manufacturers can use it. And by having a competitor join in the fun, it means that Ford can keep up with the tech companies in Silicon Valley. Last year, the car maker made SmartDeviceLink open source, hoping that by getting rivals and competitors on board, it’ll make it a bit more appealing to mobile developers. Getting their apps onto a platform that is available in many cars. Instead of just Ford’s vehicles. This is also Ford’s way of keeping Google and Apple out of the dominant spot on the display in their cars.

Ford, and also Toyota’s reasoning for leaving Google and Apple out is the fact that they don’t want the car industry ending up like the smartphone market. Where those that make smartphones are hardly turning a profit, meanwhile those that make the software for those smartphones are. It may seem a bit greedy, but Ford, Toyota and others need to stay in business and keep their shareholders happy. At least Ford is letting Apple and Google in, unlike Toyota, though. Ford will begin putting Android Auto in their cars later this year. The 2017 model year will all have Android Auto as well as Apple CarPlay. While their 2016 models will have an option to upgrade later this year.