Ford has announced that it has become the first American automaker to contribute open-source software code to the GENIVI Alliance. The code Ford has contributed goes with its AppLink feature allowing developers to create applications drivers of Ford vehicles can control using their voice from behind the wheel. AppLink makes controlling compatible smartphone and tablet apps possible using dashboard buttons as well.
Ford is now the first US automaker to contribute proprietary source code from one of its products to an open-source project. During CES 2013 in January, Ford announced its open mobile app developer program. Ford also announced during CES that it would take further steps to help developers enjoy more success in working with the automotive industry.
The market for in car connectivity and apps is growing rapidly with many automakers around the world supporting the ability to control smartphones or tablets using their voice or steering wheel buttons. Ford says that it understands for its AppLink system to be successful, it needs a vibrant and active developer community. Ford says that it will be establishing a new open-source GENIVI project and a Ford engineer will be maintaining the project.
This project will contain all of the code and documentation required for developers to implement AppLink software into the vehicle audio system head unit enabling two-way communications with Android and Apple devices. Ford says that the code for what will be known as SmartPhoneLink is being released under the BSD open-source license.