As part of its ongoing effort to elevate the connected car experience, especially with the likes of Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto, Honda has unveiled Honda Developer Studio, an online portal and open innovation workspace in Silicon Valley. The portal and garage will enable developers to work directly with Honda engineers to create apps that are road-ready more quickly. The announcement comes on the heels of Google’s debut release of the Android Auto software developer kit (SDK), which allows Android developers to easily extend their apps to the in-vehicle environment.
Starting in December, Honda Developer Studio will enable app developers to test their Android Auto apps in a prototype vehicle environment and collaborate with Honda R&D teams. The goal is to help developers refine their ideas and accelerate the learning curve for newcomers to the automotive industry by encouraging them to consider “automotive grade” engineering principles, as well as driver safety and privacy – top Honda priorities – from the get go.
“App developer participation in the automotive space has the potential to transform the in-car experience,” said Nick Sugimoto, senior program director for Honda Silicon Valley Lab. “We want to foster app developer participation and enthusiasm, and help them dream-up new experiences that will give drivers access to the latest in digital innovation.”
Honda Developer Studio is the product of Honda Silicon Valley Lab (HSVL), Honda’s open innovation laboratory in the San Francisco Bay Area. HSVL was founded to help accelerate Honda’s global information technology research and development efforts, and forge new strategic partnerships with technology companies.
Developers interested in working with Honda should visit the Honda Developer Studio portal online, where they will be able to begin a dialogue with Honda engineers and schedule time to meet the team at a newly built workspace in Mountain View.
I find that these initiatives are good and in order for car makers to embrace technology means that constant app updates and better connected experience needs to be put at a high priority.