Engadget posted a press release from Ford announcing that their Sync AppLink (which will be available first on the Ford Fiesta) which will enable "drivers to access and control select Android and BlackBerry apps via in-car voice commands and control buttons." Pandora, Stitcher, and OpenBeak will support the app initially according to the story.
Hopefully we will see more developers following suit quickly to improve functionality. A quote from Ford's press release stated their interest in jumping on the smartphone bandwagon, saying:
Ford's platform approach with SYNC is poised to harness smartphone app development and mobile web access; apps expected to be a $4 billion industry by 2012; analysts predict the mobile device to become the No. 1 source for Internet access by 2015
"The growth in smartphone mobile apps has been explosive, and Ford has worked hard to respond at the speed of the consumer electronics market," said Doug VanDagens, director of Ford's Connected Services Organization. "SYNC is the only connectivity system available that can extend that functionality into the car. AppLink will allow drivers to control some of the most popular apps through SYNC's voice commands and steering wheel buttons, helping drivers keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road."
The Android MarketTM and BlackBerry App World™ are among the leading growth markets for mobile apps. The new SYNC AppLink will seamlessly integrate apps using the vehicle's voice and user interface controls, including buttons on the steering wheel, increasing eyes-on-the-road and hands-on-the-wheel time.
If this pans out, it'll be interesting to see just how far this could take Android implementation/integration into other segments of the auto market and other related markets.
Other Sources: Ford
Image from Engadget