The choice of technology used in cars today has become something of a thorny issue of late. Companies such as Apple and Google are obvious choices, particularly with their expertise in the arena of information and entertainment. Infotainment systems connect smartphones to dashboard functions to provide music, navigation and more. However, car companies are naturally keen to maintain points of difference between them in what is a very competitive market.
Toyota is arguably the largest car manufacturer to hold out against Apple and Google. Instead it has decided to go with technology that was initially developed by Ford for its cars, SmartDeviceLink (SDL). Toyota’s appropriation of SDL makes it the first car manufacturer other than Ford to do so. SDL will be used in Toyota’s 2017 models, while the company’s proprietary AppLink software will be retained.
A benefit of SDL is that it can be customised by car companies, whereas a brand such as Apple places restrictions on the tailoring of its technology. Using SDL also enables automobile manufacturers to maintain a tighter grip on customer data, something that both Apple and Google have been able to profit from.
Software companies such as QNX – a subsidiary of Blackberry – and UIEvelotion have pledged support for SDL, while Spotify and iHeartRadio are music services that are also working on the open-source technology platform.
We will bring you news of any developments on the subject when we get it. If you have any questions about our range of Toyota vehicles or the types of technology that are used within them, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.