Apps for cars?

Image: Ford development apps for cars

Motor industry news from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is that Ford and GM have both announced they are to launch programs opening up their designs to software developers in the same way that smartphone makers did, allowing the creation of in-car apps.

This exciting move is intended to enhance the driving experience and make cars more attractive, particularly to the younger buyer, and it is certain that other car marques will soon follow.

Many drivers will quietly admit to using their smartphones whilst on the move so the development of any app that keeps eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, using heads up display, steering wheel controls and voice activation, has the potential to save lives. Both Ford and GM realise how important it is that an app should not provide a distraction to the driver, Julius Marchwicki, Ford’s developer program leader said “There are some types of apps that we can’t accept, video content or rich imagery, apps that require extensive text, and apps that involve playing games.” There is, of course, the problem of security, hackers can exploit app software without being anywhere near the vehicle and this could hike the cost of car insurance up even further!

With more than a billion smartphone users worldwide and more than 55 billion app downloads in the US alone, it seems that despite the possible risks to safety and security the in-car app is destined to be a huge success.