Smartphone apps coming to a Ford near you

Pleet expects that apps will provide drivers with more ‘personalisation’, where “…sharing a car with other people means you can get into the exact same vehicle and have totally different experience.”

The Ford Kuga is expected to come with AppLink 2.0 technology in 2014.

In terms of driver safety, apps using the AppLink 2.0 system will be carefully controlled so that they provide new utility to drivers in a way that does not distract them from safely operating the vehicle. As such, most will probably rely on voice commands, natural language processing and text to speech technology, and extend existing popular apps into our cars.

The AppLink software development kit, available to registered developers, will provide the foundation for leveraging in-car capabilities including:

Voice pass-through – Offers the ability for app developers to take advantage of increasingly popular cloud-based voice-activated services for in-app experiences

Vehicle Data Access – Access to vehicle data allows developers – with customer consent – to take advantage of the rich data available from vehicle sensors

In-vehicle notifications – Developers will be able to send ‘push’ notifications to drivers through the vehicle audio system and display

To make it easier for people to find new apps created for AppLink 2.0 equipped vehicles, Ford has also released the AppLink Catalog app, which organises apps in one place and automatically connects customers to the app store of their choosing. The catalog will also help AppLink developers put their creations in front of new customers.

AppLink will be rolled out globally and Australia will get it early 2014.

Valens Quinn attended the 2013 Computex conference in Taipei as a guest of Ford Australia.