Ford has quite the presence at this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco. Not only did itbring out the Spotify crew to hack together the streaming music service into SYNC, but it’s announced a partnership with Bug Labs to develop an open source infotainment platform for vehicles.
Bug Labs has been in the business of developing and supplying open source software and hardware for mobile devices, and the company is joining together with Ford to collaborate on an in-car research platform dubbed OpenXC. The partnership aims to bring the plug-and-play platform to vehicles, allowing developers to create new functionality that taps into everything from audio alerts to safety devices – but with limits, obviously.
The demo Ford and Bug Labs showed off in SF was a prototype system setup as a social, fuel economy game that lights up a series of LEDs when you’re being eco-conscious with the throttle. It’s not particularly mind-blowing, but seeding the software and hardware to devs means the next great in-car innovation could come from an unlikely source.
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