Ford, Toyota herald new members on board with Apple CarPlay-opposing industry group

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in iPhone
Auto manufacturers Ford and Toyota are welcoming new members to its SmartDeviceLink Consortium, in an effort to stop Apple's CarPlay and Google Auto from gaining any more traction in the market.




In a joint announcement, Ford and Toyota announced that Fuji Heavy Industries, Mazda Motor Group, Suzuki Motors, and the PSA Group have joined the SmartDeviceLink Consortium. In addition, telecommunications company Elektrobit Automotive, software developer Luxoft Holding, and scooter manufacturer Xevo have all signed on as well.

The PSA Group manufacturers Peugot, Citroen, and DS automobiles, and is the second largest car manufacturer in Europe. Fuji Heavy Industries produces the Subaru line of automobiles.

The group, and related protocol, isn't new. Ford and Toyota first agreed to collaborate in 2011 on the protocol, fearing the intrusion of smartphone technologies into the car.

SmartDeviceLink is an open platform based on the AppLink framework developed for Ford's own vehicles. It fills essentially the same role as CarPlay or Android Auto, but allows the vehicle manufacturer to retain control over the look and feel of the user interface.

SmartDeviceLink consists of two main components. The in-car aspect contains most of the user interface with a dashboard LCD and most communication protocols with the car's electronics, with the mobile proxy connecting to a smartphone.

The SmartDeviceLink model is somewhat different than CarPlay, with the vehicle providing most of the data and connectivity, and the user's phone being more of a terminal. Apple's CarPlay is the other way around, with the user's iPhone doing more of the work involving user communication and services.

Ford has continued to push SmartDeviceLink as an industry standard even while it includes CarPlay and Google's rival Android Auto in recent vehicles. Major automotive software supplier QNX has previously announced support for SmartDeviceLink.

Toyota announced during the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show that it would not be offering CarPlay-equipped vehicles.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,896member
    Kinda late to the party...its already taken off on both sides (Android Auto and CarPlay). What will they offer to make others switch and stop supporting this? I think in the end all they're going to do is piss off customers (like Toyota already has) and people just won't buy their products.
    repressthiszroger73albegarcpatchythepirateration alGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 50
    I'm baffled... What would they gain by shutting Apple and Google out? I'm looking to buy a factory new vehicle hopefully within a year, and Carplay is a must have for me! I'm even trying to hold out in hope of wireless carplay. They better not remove the option completely!
    manfred zornrepressthisyojimbo007palominexzualbegarcGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 50
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,983member
    The value add for me as a consumer is not yet clear to me, whereas the value of having an Apple-designed car system running off my phone is clear to me.
    repressthisyojimbo007palomineration alGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 50
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,603member
    macxpress said:
    Kinda late to the party...its already taken off on both sides (Android Auto and CarPlay). What will they offer to make others switch and stop supporting this? I think in the end all they're going to do is piss off customers (like Toyota already has) and people just won't buy their products.
    If Smart Device Link is the default set-up, and 'it just works', and works well, I'd think most people will just go with it. If you step into your car the first time and it informs you that it has detected your phone and asks if you'd like to set it up it would be tempting to say 'yes'. I wouldn't be surprised if most people think they have CarPlay working.  If in order to get CapPlay working you have to go into a convoluted settings menu structure in order to enable it it will further discourage.  

    Just being a devils advocate here.
    edited January 2017 repressthisflashfan207
  • Reply 5 of 50
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,896member
    paxman said:
    macxpress said:
    Kinda late to the party...its already taken off on both sides (Android Auto and CarPlay). What will they offer to make others switch and stop supporting this? I think in the end all they're going to do is piss off customers (like Toyota already has) and people just won't buy their products.
    If Smart Device Link is the default set-up, and 'it just works', and works well, I'd think most people will just go with it. If you step into your car the first time and it informs you that it has detected your phone and asks if you'd like to set it up it would be tempting to say 'yes'. I wouldn't be surprised if most people think they have CarPlay working.  If in order to get CapPlay working you have to go into a convoluted settings menu structure in order to enable it it will further discourage.  

    Just being a devils advocate here.
    I believe to enable CarPlay all you have to do is plug it in and it comes up. There are no special settings to setup or go through. Its pretty much plug n pray. If SmartLink is supposed to work with your phone and stuff I don't see it as it "just working". There are way too many different kinds of phones it will have to support vs Android Auto and CarPlay are just built into the phone's OS. Maybe I'm missing something?
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 50
    macxpress said:
    paxman said:
    macxpress said:
    Kinda late to the party...its already taken off on both sides (Android Auto and CarPlay). What will they offer to make others switch and stop supporting this? I think in the end all they're going to do is piss off customers (like Toyota already has) and people just won't buy their products.
    If Smart Device Link is the default set-up, and 'it just works', and works well, I'd think most people will just go with it. If you step into your car the first time and it informs you that it has detected your phone and asks if you'd like to set it up it would be tempting to say 'yes'. I wouldn't be surprised if most people think they have CarPlay working.  If in order to get CapPlay working you have to go into a convoluted settings menu structure in order to enable it it will further discourage.  

    Just being a devils advocate here.
    I believe to enable CarPlay all you have to do is plug it in and it comes up. There are no special settings to setup or go through. Its pretty much plug n pray. If SmartLink is supposed to work with your phone and stuff I don't see it as it "just working". There are way too many different kinds of phones it will have to support vs Android Auto and CarPlay are just built into the phone's OS. Maybe I'm missing something?
    I think paxman is saying that Smart Device could succeed IF two things are true: (a) it works well and (b) CarPlay is hidden behind menus, etc. Paxman isn't saying CarPlay is difficult to use - he's saying that automakers could purposely make CarPlay difficult to use in order to encourage to encourage use of Smart Device. (b) is possible. (a) seems unlikely given what we have seen to date from the OEMs.
    edited January 2017 repressthispaxman
  • Reply 7 of 50
    jm6032jm6032 Posts: 147member
    macxpress said:
    Kinda late to the party...

    I think it's more fundamentally flawed. Here you have a group of auto makers (competitors), none of which have seriously impressed me with the ability to create UI software, who probably haven't even agreed on what hardware platform to use, now saying they are going to "agree" on some kind of digital hardware, generic software, connectivity...

    I assert they will be arguing with each other five years from now while Apple and Google will be three versions ahead of them...and counting... I expect each auto manufacturer will have worked around this consortium and negotiated with Apple and Google directly. And, they are bringing more argumentative players to the table and each of them wants to own the empire. Oh, yea, this is going to end well...

    repressthispalomineStrangeDayspatchythepirateration alcharlesatlaswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 50
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,748member
    jm6032 said:
    macxpress said:
    Kinda late to the party...

     I expect each auto manufacturer will have worked around this consortium and negotiated with Apple and Google directly. 

    That's already happened with two major car-makers and one of those techs. There's been a couple of announcements this week coming out of CES regarding joint projects.
  • Reply 9 of 50
    jm6032 said:
    macxpress said:
    Kinda late to the party...

    I think it's more fundamentally flawed. Here you have a group of auto makers (competitors), none of which have seriously impressed me with the ability to create UI software, who probably haven't even agreed on what hardware platform to use, now saying they are going to "agree" on some kind of digital hardware, generic software, connectivity...

    I assert they will be arguing with each other five years from now while Apple and Google will be three versions ahead of them...and counting... I expect each auto manufacturer will have worked around this consortium and negotiated with Apple and Google directly. And, they are bringing more argumentative players to the table and each of them wants to own the empire. Oh, yea, this is going to end well...

    Smart Device feels a lot like CurrentC
    entropyspalominerob53Rayz2016charlesatlas
  • Reply 10 of 50
    thedbathedba Posts: 475member
    If this system is as convoluted and ridiculously complicated as the one I have in my 2013 Prius-V then when the time comes to lease a new vehicle in 2018, I will look elsewhere. No CarPlay then Toyota can kiss my business good-bye. 

    Hope this new system meets the same fate as Current-C and soon. 
    entropyspalominerayboalbegarc
  • Reply 11 of 50
    Here's a car connectivity question.  Why hasn't any manufacturer started including a real mounting dock (no wires, a sturdy mount, the correct orientation, etc.)?  For iOS it's easy (one connector, only a few form factors, etc.).  Even for Android, it shouldn't be too hard to cover most of the dominant devices.  The space taken up by a CD loading slot should be about right to have a pop-out platform that includes a sturdy port (that can swap between lightning and micro-USB).  This would reduce clutter and wires snaking around the cockpit area (usually from a center console to the dash).
    roundaboutnowration alwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 50
    I'm baffled... What would they gain by shutting Apple and Google out? I'm looking to buy a factory new vehicle hopefully within a year, and Carplay is a must have for me! I'm even trying to hold out in hope of wireless carplay. They better not remove the option completely!
    I'm hoping for wireless CarPlay as well.  My previous thoughts on how this might show up are here: http://q10a1.blogspot.com/2016/11/w1s-killer-app.html
  • Reply 13 of 50
    I think some of you are confused.  They are not trying to go against CarPlay, they are just trying to create their own standard in an attempt to stop Apple and Google of taking control of their industry like Apple did to the music industry.   Most of these companies are doing this in addition to offering CarPlay.

    For those of you basing your auto purchase on CarPlay, don't.  At the moment its very gimmicky.  Sure its fun and cool the first few times but If you don't tether your phone to your car now, Carplay wont be enough for most people to start doing it after.  If you are like me, you like to get in your car and drive.  Not fiddle around with your phone and attaching cables.  For long trips its worth the effort but you will soon keep your phone in your pocket for everyday drives.   Unless the car offers wireless car play, don't choose a car that is inferior in other categories just to get standard CarPlay or you may end up be disappointed that you did.
    edited January 2017
  • Reply 14 of 50
    altivec88 said:
    I think some of you are confused.  They are not trying to go against CarPlay, they are just trying to create their own standard in an attempt to stop Apple and Google of taking control of their industry like Apple did to the music industry.   Most of these companies are doing this in addition to offering CarPlay.

    For those of you basing your auto purchase on CarPlay, don't.  At the moment its very gimmicky.  Sure its fun and cool the first few times but If you don't tether your phone to your car now, Carplay wont be enough for most people to start doing it after.  If you are like me, you like to get in your car and drive.  Not fiddle around with your phone and attaching cables.  For long trips its worth the effort but you will soon keep your phone in your pocket for everyday drives.   Unless the car offers wireless car play, don't choose a car that is inferior in other categories just to get standard CarPlay or you may end up be disappointed that you did.




    I may be in a minority but the first thing I do when I get in the car is plug my phone in to charge so I'd be fine with plugging in to get CarPlay.  I don't know what most people do.  I also agree that wireless would be even better (my thoughts on that here: http://q10a1.blogspot.com/2016/11/w1s-killer-app.html) and, at a minimum, a real dock would be valuable and avoid cables.
  • Reply 15 of 50
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,789member
    I have not used CarPlay or Android Auto but it seems to me that it is sort of a mash up of digital information. I don't see how CarPlay is going to integrate with the back up camera, all the mechanical settings, vehicle alerts, radio, driver selection for seating and mirror presets, etc. I imagine one would need to constantly be switching back and forth from the vehicle onboard system to the phone feature system, plus I am so used to my jog shuttle I don't think I would be too happy using a touch screen in the car.

    CarPlay maps has its pros and cons. It is always current but it uses a lot of data to download tiles unless you are so well planned that you always download your saved maps that you will need using wifi before you get in your car. That certainly is not me. Plus, sometimes the cell signal is not that great which could impact how well maps works compared to onboard maps.

    CarPlay music is going to be better than the vehicle system though. I haven't seen a decent implementation of iPhone play lists yet in the factory installed applications. If CarPlay was wireless it might be more convenient, although I would imagine that it could drain the battery pretty quickly. I never take my iPhone out of my pocket when driving so hooking it up to a cable would be a deal breaker for me. I'm not unhappy with my current BMW system even with its kludgy music selection menus.

    If the default factory installed infotainment system offers a good enough user experience, I don't see the lack of CarPlay as a big deal.
    taniwha
  • Reply 16 of 50
    All politics. Ford did so poorly with the Ford Suck, sorry Sync. Worst in-car system ever. I wouldn't trust them to develop a good phone-to-car system again.  Can't understand why they just don't leave it as an option for the consumer and stay out of it. Hopefully they do leave it as an option, because nobody will choose their system.  Fortunately, there are plenty of other car companies out there. 
    palomineStrangeDaysration al
  • Reply 17 of 50
    dm3dm3 Posts: 152member
    Looks DOA. They have it backwards, car focused with phone as display? Makes no sense. Car-play/android auto makes much more sense. Get data and apps from the phone to interact with the car. I can see the auto makers not liking it, but its clearly the superior approach.
    ration alRayz2016
  • Reply 18 of 50
    cmd-zcmd-z Posts: 52member
    macxpress said:

    Its pretty much plug n pray
    Typo, or pun?
    edited January 2017
  • Reply 19 of 50
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,896member
    cmd-z said:
    macxpress said:

    Its pretty much plug n pray
    Typo, or pun?
    pun...I always call it plug n pray. :)
    Rayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 50
    altivec88 said:
    I think some of you are confused.  They are not trying to go against CarPlay, they are just trying to create their own standard in an attempt to stop Apple and Google of taking control of their industry like Apple did to the music industry.   Most of these companies are doing this in addition to offering CarPlay.

    For those of you basing your auto purchase on CarPlay, don't.  At the moment its very gimmicky.  Sure its fun and cool the first few times but If you don't tether your phone to your car now, Carplay wont be enough for most people to start doing it after.  If you are like me, you like to get in your car and drive.  Not fiddle around with your phone and attaching cables.  For long trips its worth the effort but you will soon keep your phone in your pocket for everyday drives.   Unless the car offers wireless car play, don't choose a car that is inferior in other categories just to get standard CarPlay or you may end up be disappointed that you did.
    I may be in a minority but the first thing I do when I get in the car is plug my phone in to charge so I'd be fine with plugging in to get CarPlay.  I don't know what most people do.  I also agree that wireless would be even better (my thoughts on that here: http://q10a1.blogspot.com/2016/11/w1s-killer-app.html) and, at a minimum, a real dock would be valuable and avoid cables.
    No... you're right.   I was projecting a little too much thinking that most people have the same driving habits as myself.  I have nothing to back up my statement saying "Most" are like me.  I should have just left it at, if you are similar to me.   I think it comes down to how long your daily commute is.   For me, I typically get to where I need to go in less than 20 to 30 minutes.  Just not worth the time for me to connect and disconnect to gain very little.  Besides, I know I'll accidentally leave my phone in the car one time and end up with a broken window and a stolen phone.  I'm too forgetful like that.   It just needs to get a lot more seamless for me to recommend CarPlay as a must have feature.
    edited January 2017
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