Toyota, Ford lead vehicle app integration with smartphones

October 28, 2011 // By EE Times
Toyota and Ford have the most successful integration of car infotainment systems with mobile devices like smartphones, according to an IHS iSuppli Automotive Research report.

A study of five production-ready applications for vehicles in the model years 2011 and 2012 showed that both the Toyota Entune and Ford Sync AppLink apps achieved industry-leading performance on at least four criteria, including content variety, level of integration, daily relevance and implementation.

Also doing well on some performance metrics in the evaluation were the BMW/Mini Connected, GM My Link/IntelliLink and Hyundai Blue Link.

Next-generation automotive infotainment systems will derive their functionality from motorists’ mobile devices as opposed to using their vehicle’s built-in capabilities to provide entertainment and information systems, accoring to Mark Boyadjis, IHS Senior Analyst & Regional Manager, North American Automotive Research.

Smartphone app integration is a rapidly growing market in the automotive space, with sales of vehicle head units featuring smartphone app integration climbing in the United States from a few thousand units in 2011 to nearly 5 million units in 2018, according to the report.

Among the five car apps, Toyota’s Entune ranked as the top overall, placing first in three of the four categories under evaluation and landing in second next to Ford in terms of implementation. But despite its many allures, Entune at nearly $150 a year is expensive compared to the offerings from other automakers.

Ford's Sync was first in implementation and second in the overall rankings.

The rankings reflect the results of the study made by IHS iSuppli at the time the apps were ready for evaluation and can change as the automakers pursue more third-party app developers.

The full report is available from IHS.