How supplier landed smartphone app in Ford vehicles
Among automotive suppliers, Telenav Inc. is part of an exclusive club.
The Silicon Valley developer of navigation software is one of about a dozen companies whose smartphone applications have been approved for use with Ford Motor Co.'s onboard infotainment systems.
Scout, Telenav's smartphone navigation application, provides consumers with suggestions for places to visit on their route as well as contact information, based on their requests.
Telenav already was a trusted supplier to Ford, making Scout's adoption easier, says Niall Berkery, Telenav's senior director of business development. Telenav previously had supplied the navigation software database for the MyFord Touch infotainment system.
Telenav's Scout application is free for consumers to download. Like a standard navigation system, it will provide turn-by-turn directions. But it also can make recommendations for places that people might want to visit along the way.
For instance, say a driver on a trip is hungry for Thai food. The driver can ask Scout, through Ford's Sync voice command system, to recommend a Thai restaurant along the driver's route. Once a restaurant is chosen, the driver can use Sync to call the restaurant to make a reservation.
Scout underwent thousands of miles of joint testing by engineers with both Ford and Telenav before it was approved for launch. But before work even started on Scout, Telenav needed approval from Ford to allow the navigation software company to work in Ford vehicles.
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