Ford, Toyota, and Others Form Consortium to Slow Apple and Google From Taking Over Auto Infotainment

The auto industry is considered a major focal point for the technology industry right now, between expanding infotainment capabilities and autonomous driving.

While companies like Ford, Toyota, and others have had infotainment systems in place for quite some time, some even powered by Microsoft-built technology, it has been Apple with CarPlay and Google with Android Auto that have been raking in the majority of attention as of late. But it looks like some companies don’t want to let Apple and Google have all the fun.

In a new report from Bloomberg, a brand new consortium, which has apparently been in the works for quite some time, has enlisted the presence of Ford, Toyota, Suzuki, Mazda, and others to join what is known as the SmartDeviceLink Consortium. The goal for the non-profit group is creating more choices for consumers in their vehicles, including voice recognition and dashboard displays.

Toyota has been adamant in not supporting Apple CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto, citing security and safety concerns. However, Ford supports both of the third-party in-car systems for all of its 2017 models, but Ford has said it still wants an open source option, one that can be used as an alternative to Android Auto and CarPlay.

This has been moving into reality since 2011:

“Toyota first agreed to collaborate with Ford on car telematics systems in 2011. The automakers worry that if CarPlay and Android Auto establish themselves as must-have options, the influence of Apple and Google over the industry will grow.”

It will be interesting to see how this turns out, especially if the consortium can eventually lead to some more exciting and feature-rich infotainment systems, which would also make Apple and Google step up their options as well.

[via Bloomberg]