Toyota has announced its next-generation connected vehicle plans at CES 2016 in Las Vegas. At the heart of that framework will be a Data Communication Module (DCM), coming to vehicles starting with the 2017 model year. Toyota has joined with Ford to adopt the SmartDeviceLink open-source smartphone app interface as a key to that expansion.

Toyota is the first major automaker to join with Ford, and the two are also being joined by top-tier automotive suppliers QNX Software Systems and UIEvolution. SmartDeviceLink is an open-source interface for integrating voice control for smartphone apps through a vehicle's infotainment interface. The system underpins the Ford SYNC AppLink interface.

Other automakers are considering adoption as well, and the platform is built to be global in capability. This puts SmartDeviceLink well on its way towards becoming an industry standard. "The true benefit of a common smartphone app communications interface is that it creates an industry standard – enabling great experiences for customers while allowing different companies the freedom to differentiate their individual brands," said Don Butler, Ford executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services..

Toyota's plans are to integrate SmartDeviceLink with its DCM plans, which the company says will be globally standard in its vehicles by 2019. The collaboration with Ford and others is part of that goal. The standardized SDL will allow Toyota to work with suppliers like UIEvolution on software that works globally rather than regionally, which is now the case. Toyota and Ford began collaborating on in-vehicle telematics standardization in 2011.

The SmartDeviceLink integration from Toyota is on display at CES 2016 in the Livio exhibit, starting January 6.