CTIA: Ford Calls On Mobile App Developers To Innovate In-Car Tech Using SDK

Today during a keynote at CTIA, Ford VP of global product development, Derrick Kuzak, called on mobile app developers to come up with the next set of ideas that can link the car to the Internet through innovation in applications.

“We are looking for your ideas,” Kuzak told the audience.  “Right now access to the Internet in the car is only useful to passengers on iPads and laptops.”  The auto-maker wants developers to leverage the SDK it recently published that gives developers access to APIs that will let them tailor their smartphone apps for Ford cars with Microsoft’s Sync technology.  So far, the SDK supports BlackBerry and Android devices, but will support the iPhone and Windows Phone 7 soon, said Kuzak.

Ford is making huge headway in the area of in-car tech, as Kuzak detailed the next generation of Ford cars coming out early next year that will have technology called “My Ford Touch” — which includes a touchscreen on the dashboard that can connect to smartphones.  In addition, new Ford models will include SD card slots, USB slots for charging your phone and the ability to connect a USB Modem to create a Wi-Fi cloud in the car.  “I’m looking for a lot of people who don’t know what can’t be done. We need your help, we need your big ideas,” Kuzak said.

I’ve long been impressed with Ford’s ability to quickly innovate in regards to in-car technology.  It was one of the first auto-makers to jump on the bandwagon in terms of the latest offerings, and it’s even more surprising that it’s coming from an American auto brand.  In the past, Japanese auto-makers were always first in line to offer the latest technology, and it’s refreshing that it’s finally coming from one of our own.