When Ford launched Sync in 2007, it was one of a few automakers that had a factory mobile device integration solution. Today, almost every automaker has a mobile integration system, with capabilities getting more sophisticated and powerful with each model year. To help maintain its edge in vehicle mobile device integration, the company is acquiring Livio, a software company based in Ferndale, Michigan, announced in a press release from Ford.
Ford is hoping to create an industry-wide standard for mobile connectivity and app development. The area of in-vehicle connectivity is expected to grow exponentially in the years ahead. Nearly 2 million vehicles were delivered with smartphone integration systems in 2012. The number of vehicles projected to have smartphone integration is expected to reach 21 million units by 2018, according to data from London, England-based GSMA, a global mobile industry trade group.
Although Livio will be a fully-owned Ford subsidiary, the division will continue to have semi-autonomous management and operation, that will allow the company to maintain an entrepreneurial culture, and rapid development and adaptation to emerging technologies.
Ford was one of the first manufacturers to bring a system to market designed to interface with mobile devices with Sync in 2007. Added functions such as 911 assist, vehicle health report, and Ford Work solutions were subsequently added with software updates. MyFord Touch, a more advanced evolution of Sync that interfaced with a in-dash touchscreen display, debuted for the 2011 model year.