Ford has announced that Apple Car-Play and Android Auto are to be introduced to its product line later this year.
Ford - along with its associated brands - is the single largest car brand in the US, selling 178,000 units in the country in November 2015. Therefore this is a significant boost for both Apple and Google's infotainment systems. The new compatible vehicles will have Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment hardware and these will get the OS's this year. Older models will get upgrades sometime later.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are infotainment OS’s that sync with the user's smartphone and offer an array of tools, including hands-free navigation, music selection, a phone, and control of some settings. The advantage to Ford and other car manufacturers is they no longer have to worry about in-car entertainment systems becoming out-dated before the life-time of the vehicle.
Currently, a car is build for a life-time of ten years but in-car entertainment systems are being out-dated after only two to three years. By moving the intelligence to the user’s smartphone, it means that the cars entertainment system is updated as often as the smartphones software. Furthermore, Ford can now open up their infotainment system to Apple/Google app developers rather than go for one vendor hardware.
The move by Ford will likely improve the adoption of both tech companies' OS's, whilst Ford need only supply the display hardware in the console.