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Spec aims to advance interoperable car connectivity

Mar 5, 2013  |  Rick Lehrbaum
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Following two years of collaborative development, the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) this week announced the availability of v1.0 of MirrorLink, which defines methods for implementing interoperable phone-centric car connectivity.

According to the CCC, MirrorLink enables controlling a nearby smartphone from the steering wheel or via dashboard buttons and screens. The technology is said to make use of a vehicle’s controls and displays in a manner that gives users access to their smartphone apps while driving, “allowing them to be connected and responsible at the same time.”

The CCC’s website lists these MirrorLink benefits:

  • For mobile app developers, MirrorLink specifies how to develop apps that integrate with cars.
  • For OS vendors and handset manufacturers, MirrorLink extends brand experience into cars.
  • For regulators, MirrorLink offers a sensible alternative to the outright prohibition of smartphone use while driving.
  • For mobile operators, MirrorLink makes it possible to continue delivering mobile services to subscribers while they’re behind the wheel.
  • For consumers, MirrorLink makes connected driving safer and more enjoyable.

Prior to the v1.0 release, the MirrorLink draft specification was only available to CCC members.

“Opening MirrorLink 1.0 has always been a critical step in the standard’s global rollout strategy, and we are all very pleased to have reached this point,” says Jörg Brakensiek, chair of CCC’s Technical Workgroup. “Public availability of the specification will stimulate MirrorLink-enabled device deployments and create a fertile marketplace for apps when they arrive.”

“This also brings the CCC one step closer to its mission of increasing safety and enjoyment on today’s roads,” adds Mika Rytkonen, CCC’s chairman and president.

According to the CCC, MirrorLink differs from other connected-car platforms, such as Ford SYNC, MyLink, and BMW Connected, in that MirrorLink provides underlying technology, which can work in conjunction with — or along side — automakers’ proprietary infotainment systems.

The CCC says its membership spans more than 80 percent of all automakers and more than 70 percent of all smartphone manufacturers, plus numerous aftermarket consumer electronics vendors. For further information, visit the websites of the Car Connectivity Consortium and the MirrorLink standard. Additionally, there’s an interesting MirorLink FAQ here.

Android apps supporting MirrorLink, such as DriveLink, have already started appearing.
 

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