Ford: Smart device-car interoperability key

A Ford executive on Thursday said that 36 percent of smartphone app users are using them as they drive. The company's role as a technology integrator is to make them voice enabled to boost safety.

SAN FRANCISCO -- A Ford executive on Thursday said that 36 percent of smartphone app users are using them as they drive. The company's role as a technology integrator is to make them voice enabled to boost safety.

Speaking at GigaOm's Mobilize conference in San Francisco, Doug VanDagens, director of connected services at Ford, reiterated a bunch of common themes. He talked about how the car is becoming a key nerve center for apps, the integration issues and how Ford is looking to partner and piggyback on the rapid innovation for smart devices.

"We work with virtually everybody," said VanDagens, who noted that Ford's Microsoft-based Sync software is interoperable with Apple's iPhone. "There are easier things in the world to do," he said.

"Ford is working with a series of partners to increase interoperability," said VanDagens. BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion is another key partner. Ford wants all of the leading smart device players to be able to plug and play with its in-cabin technology.

The biggest challenge is safety in the car so Ford aims to give app developers interfaces to integrate existing apps and the innovation they bring to the table.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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