Ford CTO Google auto alliance a step forward even if we’re not …

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Ford CTO: Google alliance a step forward, if we’re not joining

At CES, seen new, competing standards announced, and multiple tying their data-enabled to specific carriers. Ford CTO Mascarenas shares his thoughts on developments — and they surprise you.

Ford CTO Mascarenas

Paul Mascarenas has CTO at Ford for over three now. Compared to the long of the automobile that’s barely a yet these past three have seen major in the sorts of technology installed and inside a modern car. manufacturers have added intelligence to their cars 2010 than they did in the 10 previous.

Not Ford. That to say that the company hasn’t huge progress over the three years, as it surely but the company was well ahead of the when it introduced Sync in While other manufacturers had some catching up to do with smart cars.

Ford seems to be focusing on in the blanks.


At this year’s CES the company knocked out a few more, out Sync AppLink capability to 3.4 cars — though the service, which allows apps to talk directly to the still isn’t compatible the latest MyFord Touch-equipped This update also AppLink functionality on newer allowing smartphone apps to key data from the car, like speed and fuel

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

will, in theory, greatly the functionality of these apps and hopes this, plus a conference this summer, woo more app developers to support the cars. By extension, they’d be the nascent Smart Device API, which the Blue has positioned as an industry standard. (A strengthened by Ford’s recent of Livio ). However, it’s far the only standard out there, and at year’s CES a few more were on the pile.

Far and away the most talked of these fledgling interfaces from Google. The Open Alliance (or OAA) is committed to the Android platform to cars in 2014, and while exactly that means remains it’s readily apparent Ford is not among the initial of this group (which includes GM, Audi, Honda, and

From the outside, this looks like a competing to Ford’s Smart Device but Mascarenas isn’t bothered. I think in any way it’s frustrating. If it’s good for the industry.

It avoids fragmentation and takes out of things. Just like promoting AppLink as an industry it takes complexity out for the developers. very happy with we’re doing, with our with the Livio guys, but open to work with as well.

GM signing on to the OAA means one company offers at least separate app platforms, a situation must give its own developers never mind those on the

The areas of smartphone connectivity and cars are, you see, so rough that any attempt at actually managing to bring manufacturers together is a step That’s despite some of steps creating some internal conflict. General for example, already relies on API for its Spark and just launched its own by OnStar initiative for HTML5-based apps.

GM signing on to the OAA means that one offers at least three app platforms, a situation that give its own developers headaches, mind those on the outside.

and Ford, on the other hand, chosen not to join the OAA — at not yet. We’ve talked to people as well. I wouldn’t use the ‘vague,’ but it’s very That’s a good thing.

I the vision is excellent, I really do. No from Ford. Especially there may be an opportunity to merge the two or at least modify one to support the

I think in the end we’ll do the right for the customer. For me, it’s not so much how you things. People don’t care about that. more about the content and the

Audi TT Virtual Cockpit

Wayne Cunningham/CNET)

This Mascarenas’ thoughts on both GM and announcing partnerships with ATT to LTE connectivity to their cars. In traditionally, data-enabled cars had SIM slots that enabled 3G from any carrier. In the US, and with the of LTE, manufacturers are more taking this approach of their cars to a specific — often Ma Bell in the US.

to Mascarenas, you shouldn’t be forced to get a new plan on one carrier just to our car. Our strategy has always device agnostic. It comes to this vehicle just another device.

You should be to add this to whatever plan got. I’m just as a customer and what would I It’s nice to talk technology, but we have to keep back to the customer experience

And, for the short-term at least, believes that connectivity the data-enabled devices we already own continue to be the simplest way. Do you see going away? he asks, toward a smartphone sitting on the

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