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Ford Buys Livio for Smartphone-to-Car Communications

In an effort to boost its in-car tech, Ford today acquired Michigan-based Livio.

“Ford is acquiring Livio to advance connectivity for our customers and to lead the way in in-vehicle connectivity for the entire automotive industry,” Bill Coughlin, president and CEO of Ford Global Technologies, said in a statement.

Ultimately, the two companies want to develop “an industry standard for smartphone-to-vehicle communications,” Ford said.

Once the deal closes, Livio will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Global Technologies, which manages intellectual property for Ford. Livio will be a separate department within the Ford Electrical/Electronic Systems Engineering. That way, Ford has access to Livio staffers and engineering talent while allowing it to remain independent.

Livio offered Livio Radio, which let users hook their iPhones into a car stereo in vehicles without an Aux input. That eventually morphed into Livio Connect, which Livio describes as “a liaison between your customers’ various apps and hardware devices.”

“At Livio, our philosophy is centered on bringing customers more connectivity with less hassle,” Livio CEO Jake Sigal said in a statement. “We believe this partnership is an excellent match, as it will give us the ability to work with Ford to provide customers even more access to new technologies in the vehicle infotainment space.”

At the IFA trade show in Berlin, Ford chief Alan Mulally showed off a smart concept carthat might eventually be capable of automatic parking – parallel and vertical – and backing out (below), as well as using Wi-Fi to communicate with other cars on the road about potential problems ahead.

Most of Ford’s connectivity efforts, however, have been focused on its Sync infotainment network. For more, check out Ford Sync: What You Need to Know.


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