Nokia joins with German car makers to set app standard

Five leading German car manufacturers have joined with Nokia in a fresh attempt to devise a standard for integrating smartphones and their apps into vehicle dashboards.

The new initiative will see Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen working with Nokia to provide a common format for smartphones to communicate with the increasingly complex dashboard instrumentation and infotainment systems installed in modern cars.

The upside for Nokia is an opportunity to have its Ovi Maps app become the de-facto navigation software, and provide a much needed boost to the company's Ovi Store service which continues to lag far behind Apple's app store. Nokia has also formed partnerships with Alpine Electronics, Continental and Harman Becker to make its handsets work seamlessly with in-dash systems.

While Apple has attempted to make inroads into the in-car sector, many in the car industry have complained that Apple remains too difficult to work with--as seen by Ford's recent decision to support Android and BlackBerry phones, but not the iPhone.

RIM has also indicated its intent to get into cars with its recent purchase of one of the largest makers of embedded car systems, Qnx.

To add further complication to an already confused industry, another working group of automotive and consumer electronics companies called the Genivi Alliance has been attempting for some time to establish its own open standard.

For more on this story:
- read the article from the New York Times

Related stories:
Nokia teams with Alpine to bring Ovi apps to in-car systems
Gracenote Powers Smart Drive App for the iPhone
Infineon Takes Automotive Semiconductor Vendor Top Spot
Gartner Says Wireless Connectivity to be Main Focus for Vehicle Manufacturers by 2012

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