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How tech nerds will write the next generation of car apps

Melissa Riofrio | Aug. 15, 2013
In workshops and hackathons across the country, automakers court developers to help innovate on car apps.

Where to, app?
Spending several hours making a hardware gauge took time away from coding, but Giuli says it helps developers see the potential of OpenXC. "When people have something physical that they can plug into the car, and see that there's actual communication between the device and the car, they get excited."

Whether any of these developers' apps will end up in a Ford car is uncertain. Giuli emphasizes that OpenXC is not designed for product development. "What we do in research is develop something, go out on a limb, push boundaries, and impact product," Giuli says. "What are the lessons we can learn from OpenXC, and how can we translate that into a product?"

And that two-way communication, so forbidden, and yet so keenly desired by some workshop attendees? Giuli doesn't rule it out entirely. "Applying active behavior to in the car is something we're actively researching," Giuli says. "We're holding a hackathon at TechShop Menlo Park to actively explore writing to the car."

Once again, the geeks are leading the way.


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