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Airbiquity brings Slacker radio into the car

Airbiquity launches a new architecture at Telematics Detroit, allowing automakers to build smartphone app interfaces in the car.

Slacker radio
As a demonstration, Airbiquity shows what a Slacker interface in the car could look like. Airbiquity

Ford may have lead the charge to integrate smartphone apps in the car, but this race is heating up fast. Airbiquity, which has previously partnered with Ford, showed off a new architecture to let other automakers put apps hosted on a phone or in the cloud into an automotive interface.

The company demonstrated its new architecture at Telematics Detroit, a conference on in-vehicle connected systems, using the Slacker Internet radio service. The Slacker app, hosted on a smartphone connected to the car through Bluetooth, appears on the car's LCD.

The interface shows driver and passenger station lists, album art, and the currently playing track. Buttons let the driver skip, pause, and favorite songs.

Airbiquity points out that its architecture lets automakers or equipment suppliers dictate which apps can be integrated, and how. The intent is for automakers to deploy safe, nondistracting interfaces that still allow users core functionality for their apps.