Ford Motor Company has launched the Ford Developer Program at the 2013 International CES. Ford is the first automaker in the world to launch an open developer program which utilizes the SYNC® connectivity system and AppLink™ application programming interface (API). This enables software developers to create apps which will embellish the driving experience.
While commenting on this, Hau Thai-Tang, Vice President of Engineering, Ford Global Product Development said, “The Ford Developer Program marks a dramatic shift in how we will innovate new features and add value to our vehicles throughout the ownership period. Opening the car to developers gives consumers a direct voice and hand in the creation of apps that can help our products remain relevant, up to date and valuable to our customers. Offering voice control so drivers can keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road has proven to be popular with our customers. Now, with an even faster adoption rate of smartphones, there is a need for a renewed focus on voice control for the unique capabilities of these devices, especially for the use of apps.”
The SYNC offers connectivity and voice control for phones and music players via Bluetooth® or USB and Applink provides a voice-activated interface that allows drivers to control smartphone apps without picking up the device.
The automaker has been in a beta test with many developers working on the details of the software development kit (SDK), technical support systems and documentation. The Ford program is similar to those at technology companies including Google, Apple and Facebook.