Six months ago, Ford Motor Company and Bug Labs had announced plans of making an open-source API named OpenXC. Finally, they have released the beta version of the platform for third-party developers and universities.
Along with the platform, they are trying to increase the speed of in-car app development. The vehicle-aware app will be the first third-party app created with the toolkit on the platform.
The app will allow the driver in sending an automatic location update to a selected group of contacts through a text or e-mail, thereby giving the information about a meeting or the like.
The new platform comes with an Arduino-based interface module that is connected to the car’s own systems. This gives the software the access to work with sensors, audio interfaces, GPS location, speed, safety devices and all the add-ons set up in the car.
The platform comes with standard, well-known tools that feed all the above required data to the driver.
The beta development kit will first reach the University of Michigan, MIT, Stanford University, and developers such as Weather Underground and India’s HCL Technologies that developed the first app. The platform is slated to be officially released in the first quarter of 2012.