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Ford’s New SYNC AppLink Software Innovations Driven through Global Hackathons

Ford announced last week new innovations to its SYNC AppLink technology, including partnerships with ExxonMobile, Samsung, DriverScore, Sygic and Dash Radio.  To drive these innovative initiatives the company also announced a series of global hackathons, which will introduce its Ford Developer Program to software developers, giving them access to use Ford’ technology to create their own apps and stimulate innovation.

Ford’s aim is to embrace trending technologies that will make the in-car experience more productive and convenient.  This includes mobile payments, wearables and usage-based insurance.

“The abundance of new apps we’re seeing is a direct result of the ease and flexibility of the SYNC AppLink platform for connecting with new technology,” said Doug VanDagens, director of Ford’s Connected Vehicle and Services. “Digital assistants are a big trend because they provide in-vehicle convenience while letting drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.”

The last hackathon winner used the IBM Watson technology to integrate the notion of cloud-based digital assistants into a car. Submissions for the hackathons come from across the globe – United, States, U.K., India and more.