Ford car news: In an effort to improve the technology in their vehicles, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is looking to create an industry wide platform for in-car connectivity. The purchase of the specialized software firm Livio this Thursday is a further step in this direction. The 11-person start-up is Ford’s first acquisition in the technology sector in 13 years and had a cost of less than $10 million.
The Ferndale, Michigan based Livio, was founded by Jake Sigal and Massimo Baldini just five years ago. The software development start-up builds products and software tools for support smartphones and has a proven track record in developing in-car connectivity solutions.
While integrated into Ford’s connectivity operations, Livio will continue to function separately as a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Global Technologies. The software firm will maintain its current customers, which includes General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), and a high degree of independence. At the same time, Ford will have access to a large group of application developers.
According to a press release put forth by the car manufacturer, “The move will further extend Ford’s ability to meet consumers’ demand for safe, seamless access to the electronic content they love while in their vehicles”. The firm also stated that both companies will be working towards the development of an industry wide platform for smartphone-to-vehicle communications. This new platform, will give users the possibility to access digital content and the Internet in their cars.
The Detroit based car manufacturer also stated in its press release, that it has been the automotive leader in in-car connectivity since 2007, thanks to its SYNC system and AppLink application. According to the company, “Ford was the first automaker in the world to launch an open developer program that enables software developers to directly interface with a vehicle and create apps to enhance the driving experience”. Furthermore, the firm claimed it will have over 14 million vehicles equipped with SYNC and 7 million with AppLink by 2015.
Livio Co-Founder Jake Sigal added, “We believe this partnership is an excellent match, as it will give us the ability to work with Ford to provide customers even more access to new technologies in the vehicle infotainment space”. Check back here for more updates on Ford car news.
Disclosure: Pablo Erbar holds no position in any stocks mentioned