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Ford willing to work with Apple and Google, but won’t give up control

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Ford Sync 2014

Ford says it is working with Apple and Google for closer integration of its respective CarPlay and Android Auto platforms, but the auto giant remains wary of putting too much power into the hands of smartphone giants.

CEO Mark Fields told Recode the company doesn’t “want to end up in the handset business,” where choice of vehicle becomes dependent on the ability to support a smartphone ecosystem on the dashboard.

Ford has taken a more proactive approach to smartphone incorporation than most auto manufacturers in recent years.

The company has it’s own infotainment system, Ford Sync, which allows Android and iOS owners to accept calls and use certain smartphone apps, hands-free.

The company’s CTO Raj Nair says it’ll be willing to incorporate more iOS and Android features within Sync if there’s a desire from consumers.

For example, Nair reiterated January's news that customers will be able to use Google Maps but listen to Sirius radio through Sync. Currently CarPlay and Android Auto can only be used as secondary tools and not as the primary means of navigation.

We want to make sure you are not pushed into a decision on a $40,000 car based on your $200 smartphone,” Nair said.

Read more: Apple CarPlay: 8 Things you can do with Apple's in-car system

Ford also said it is hoping to add cellular capabilities to a larger section of its fleet of vehicles.

“You will see that propagate, so we can have all of our vehicles have that capability,” Fields added.

shnatiw

May 1, 2015, 12:36 pm

Whether they like it or not, vehicles that do not require physical driving, are already here. This along with smartphone integration is the future. You can't just concentrate on hardware in this day and age. It's all about seamless connectivity between your appliances (and that's what vehicles will become) and for that to work consumers will need to commit to one ecosystem. Ford should embrace both Apple and Google, and work closely with them. Otherwise, they will lose more ground to their more pragmatic Asian rivals.

FIRKIN X

May 6, 2015, 1:10 am

We're already making car buying decisions based partially on our phones. If you're not seeing this you're missing out, and so are your sales figures, Nair.

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