Toyota, QNX, others adopt Ford’s SmartDeviceLink platform

“Toyota Motor Corp and Ford Motor Co said on Monday they will adopt the same software to link smartphone apps to vehicle dashboard screens and invited other automakers to join them to counter Apple Inc and Google’s push to control cars of the future,” Joseph White reports for Reuters.

“Toyota, the world’s largest automaker by vehicle sales, and Ford, the No. 2 U.S. automaker, said they will adopt a Ford-developed software called SmartDeviceLink, or SDL, as the standard for connecting smartphone apps to vehicle dashboard screens,” White reports. “SDL technology integrates smartphones apps with vehicles through dashboard buttons, display screens and voice recognition technology. Using it as a standard for projecting navigation or music streaming apps from a driver’s smartphone could help Ford and Toyota reduce dependence on Apple or Alphabet Inc’s Google, company officials said.”

“Ford said France’s Peugeot SA and Japanese automakers Honda Motor Co, Subaru and Mazda Motor Corp are also investigating adopting SDL as a standard. QNX Software Systems and UIEvolution, developers of automotive connectivity technology, are also adopting SDL, Ford said. QNX, a unit of Canada’s Blackberry Ltd, designs infotainment system software used by 40 automakers,” White reports. “Even as they maneuver to avoid becoming beholden to them, many automakers are adopting Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto systems to respond to customer demands for better connections between cars and smartphones.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Ford Sync 3 (Ford’s connected car technology) will include support for Apple CarPlay and Google’s CarPlay wannabe. All of Ford’s model year 2017 vehicles equipped will Sync 3 offer CarPlay support and its 2016 Sync 3 vehicles will be able to upgrade later this year.

Which Mercedes-Benz vehicles will have Apple’s CarPlay in 2016 – December 14, 2015
Apple’s CarPlay attracting vehicle buyers GM dealers say – December 14, 2015
The Verge reviews Apple’s CarPlay: ‘Miles better than your car’s interface’ – September 4, 2015
WSJ reviews Apple CarPlay: Siri’s finally on the right road – August 18, 2015
Hands on with Apple’s CarPlay in the new Corvette – August 10, 2015
2016 Honda Accord delivers Apple CarPlay – July 24, 2015
GM to roll out Apple’s CarPlay across 14 Chevy models this year – May 27, 2015
Apple’s CarPlay success shows the power of having a long-term strategy – March 15, 2015
Apple’s real CarPlay: Cupertino doesn’t need to build cars in order to reinvent driving – February 28, 2015
Ford drops reputation-scorching Microsoft Sync, enables support for Apple’s sought-after CarPlay – December 12, 2014
Apple’s CarPlay looks like the future of in-car infotainment – April 13, 2014


  1. When you see how afraid motor companies are of Apple and Google, it clearly demonstrates that any talk of Apple or Google partnering with motor companies to develop future cars is hopelessly misguided.

    If Apple wants an Apple car, it will have to create the entire thing itself and not rely on existing car manufacturers at all – which is pretty well what Apple would naturally do anyway.

    Ironically if existing car manufacturers want to be relevant in the future, they will need to climb on board with Apple or Google. We’ve already seen how previously successful handset camera and music companies have floundered after Apple entered their markets. The signs are that the Swiss watch industry is taking a bit of a battering too, but the car manufacturers imagine that it’s going to be different for them.

  2. The automakers are absolute idiots. For some reason they think they can make quality audio systems that integrate with smartphones. Hey Ford engineers, you are full of shit.

    I’m renting a new Ford Focus this week. For two days I’m had my iPhone plugged into the USB port and I still cannot make the thing work consistently. It is an unintuitive as a German car.

    Here is an idea for carmakers who think they can design integrated systems: just give me a port for a speaker plug so I can plug my iPhone in. Then I’ll be happy using the iPhone screen for everything I need and I will only need your speakers.

  3. Anyone who expected car companies to decide between Google and Apple is an idiot. Anyone who didn’t expect a car mfg. to provide its own software solution that was relativewly agnostic is an idiot too.

    Apple’s car technology has nothing special going for it. Google’s car connection technology has nothing special going for it.

    The major software issues will be between the native software packages that the manufactures dream up.

    BTW- don’t
    expect that Apple or Google will have an easy time busting into the car market.

    Car markets are more complex than just their manufacturing processes.

    1. Wasn’t that when Microsoft supported Sync? For has since moved to in house development and it has improved greatly. My 2011 mustang with the first version of sync (before MS ruined it) has no issues with my iPod connected via USB and my phone via Bluetooth.

      For recently enabled Siri hands free for Sync, and will also support Apple CarPlay. If you can have CarPlay with Sync, then what is the problem? As long as the automakers support Sync (and android), I’m not sure where the problem is. If they only support a system provided by a 3rd party, then who supports it?? They (Ford) tried that with MS and it was disastrous.

      1. Yes I rather thought that this was the general situation anyway. There is little or no move towards Apple or Google solutions being the inherent car software surely. I had thought that QNX was the core software that was predominate at present, indeed that Ford in recent times had moved over to that for its own Sync setup in replacing Microsoft.

        Surely there is little desire from Apple (probably more so from Google) to actually supply and be responsible for that core software with all the hassle it would bring having to adapt it to various manufacturers and modify and update continuously at their behest it could be worse than trying to support Windows for heaven sake. The way they work at present with increasingly universal compatibility with CarPlay is surely Apples prime desire in this field outside of producing their own car. So indeed what is different about this other than that base interface being more widely used between manufacturers.

  4. As a non Sync 3 Ford Sync owner, I don’t really care what they do on their own as long as they support CarPlay. Their track record on their software is horrible. At least the phone will be updated annually and application developers can easily support CarPlay.

      1. Ford is supporting CarPlay on select vehicles this year – more vehicles next year – and apparently adopting their own system after that.

        I’m looking for a vehicle this year … so GM it is.

    1. Hopefully Ford’s sync is better than Toyota’s current Entune offering. Just leased a 2015 Prius and have decided Entune is decidedly needing some TLC. The salesperson said the problems I’m having have to do with Apple iPhones not wanting to share, and Androids not having that problem. That’s not a surprise. /s

      Still, I’m not sure I understand that as my iPhone shared it’s contact list in its’ entirety without any issue whatsoever. The problem is anything to do with Bing search functions. A lot of that just doesn’t work. Plus the headache that in order to get any functionality with Entune, you have to have the iPhone plugged in to USB AND HAVE THE ENTUNE APP RUNNING ON THE IPHONE. The minute you move off their app functionality disappears. Any search related function I try to do comes back with “Search Provider Not Available” even though the phone is confirmed to be connected for internet. There’s a a lot of forum stuff found when searching the web going back to 2011 with the problem usually mentioned being an issue with Toyota’s in-house service and that it seems to manifest for weeks then disappear for no apparent reason. Not sure what or who to believe. Only know that I wish I’d looked at the Volt now. Ford’s already shown they will partner with just about anyone. Looking at you Micro$oft. And for no discernible benefit.

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