On January 4, just ahead of the opening of CES16 in Las Vegas on January 6, Toyota announced that it will be collaborating with Ford and its Livio division to develop and operate Smart Device Link (SDL).
Toyota has plans to approach other automakers and app developers as well and to start selling on-board systems that use SDL.
SDL is an open source platform that connects smartphone apps and cars. It allows drivers to use apps while driving through voice recognition technology and on-board control panels.
In August 2011, Toyota and Ford began their collaboration in the hopes of making next-gen on-board telematics standard across the industry. The companies began working with Livio in June 2015 to investigate how to introduce SDL. The results of those investigations led to Toyota choosing its platform for SDL.
Through the use of SDL, each automaker will be able to use smartphone applications and its own special system and interface to improve safety and ease-of-use. If the number of automakers using SDL increases, app makers will have more systems for which to develop apps and this will allow them to offer more apps to consumers.
(Translated by Greg Scott)