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Ford's Sync 3 is based on the company's Applink software (Photo: Ford Motor)

Toyota said it may use an open-source version of Ford Motor's AppLink connectivity system to speed up development of its connected in-car infotainment systems.

“The in-car app market is quickly evolving," Shigeki Terashi, a Toyota senior managing officer, said in a press statement. "Developing robust, flexible, safe and user-friendly connected services is a priority for us, and one that we believe is shared by Ford, Livio and other contributors to SDL technology.”

SDL stands for SmartDeviceLink, which is the open-source version of Ford's AppLink software. The US carmaker acquired Livio, a company specialized in smartphone connectivity products, in 2013.

Toyota said one of the reasons for its interest in SDL is that it allows developers to design an app only one time for use across multiple infotainment systems. That would help speed up app introductions, the Japanese carmaker said.

Getting more automotive-grade apps on board is important for Ford as well. One of the reasons it made SDL available to the open-source community is to broaden its appeal to app developers.

Said Don Butler, who is in charge of connected vehicle strategy at Ford: "With SmartDeviceLink, we're demonstrating our long-term commitment to our customers and the industry overall, to make it easy for smartphones and cars to work together everywhere around the world."