Ford To Get Apps For Its Cars– Demonstrates OpenXC Research Connectivity Platform

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We all know how smartphones have changed the way we use our phones as much more than making phone calls. The smartphones these days allow us to download and install apps (applications) for multiple solutions like navigation, entertainment, productivity applications etc. Image if you could download apps to your cars too ! Does it sound like a science fiction? Well not anymore – Ford India at NASSCOM Summit in India has demonstrated OpenXC Research Connectivity Platform to Developers for Market-Specific Apps in India and Globally. This platform provides open source hardware and software for developers to make their apps for Ford cars.

Ford Cars Will Get Apps Support

image – Ford EcoSport Concept Car

Venkatesh Prasad, senior technical leader at Ford’s Research and Innovation at Ford, demonstrated an app created by HCL that runs successfully on a Ford Figo.  The application allows a driver to send ‘Late arrival notification’ and ‘Safe arrival notification’ to selected personal contacts with an automatic location update during his travels. By monitoring location and speed information from the vehicle, the app can determine if the driver is running late for a meeting and then send an email or text message notification to other attendees without any input from the driver. The app can also notify the driver’s family following a safe arrival after a road trip.

Commenting on this OpenXC Platform Prasad Quotee:

“Through the OpenXC research project, we are paving new avenues for entrepreneurs and businesses, both small and large, where the automobile, mobile phones and the internet cloud come together in the creation of  new experiences when behind the wheel. OpenXC allows us to investigate what developers can do when we present the car in the same way as they see a smartphone software platform.With OpenXC, Ford is opening up access to the car and enabling local and independent developers to easily and quickly create apps using data provided by the car. In combination with mobile connectivity and the power of the cloud, the possibilities for new and transforming apps are almost limitless.’’

OpenXC includes an interface module based on the popular Arduino platform that allows developers to read data from the vehicle’s internal communications network. The hardware module provides real-time access to parameters like the vehicle sensors, GPS receiver and vehicle speed that can be read by apps while keeping everything isolated from the vehicle control systems.

Ford has just started shipping the first OpenXC beta toolkits to Universities such as the University of Michigan, MIT and Stanford, as well as initial developer partners, including Weather Underground in the U.S. and HCL Technologies in India. Developers working with OpenXC will be able to create apps across a wide spectrum of categories, from those dealing with personal information and entertainment to some contributing to a Better World – addressing congestion, healthcare and education.

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