Toyota Teams with Ford and Livio for Smartphone App Integration

2012 Toyota Camry Entune Headunit

Looking to finally catch up to other automakers, Toyota announced a partnership with Ford and Livio that goes toward helping Toyota integrate smartphones into infotainment systems. The partnership between Ford and Toyota dates back to 2011, when the two manufacturers agreed to work together to develop stronger in-vehicle “telematics”. Ford acquired startup company Livio in late 2013, and has fostered the development of their app-based smart-phone integration system. Now, Toyota reaps the benefits of this technical partnership with access to Livio’s SmartDeviceLink (SDL) for upcoming Toyota vehicles.

Toyota Entune Apps

While many manufacturers, including Ford and Fiat-Chrysler, are turning toward Android Auto and Apple Car Play to serve as smartphone integration, Toyota drivers will utilize their smartphone apps through SDL instead. Like Android Auto and Apple Car Play, the driver’s phone apps and functions can be operated through the use of voice commands and touch or button controls. According to Toyota, with SDL, they are able to “offer smartphone apps which match each company’s in-car system characteristics and interface.” This allows safer operation of phone and mobile device features while driving. Users can access apps, including music and communication features, through voice or physical controls. This SDL will be available on top of Toyota’s existing Entune infotainment system, and will be put into production on future models.

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