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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Ian Goldsmith, Ed Featherston, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

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OpenCar Launches First Connected Car App Platform to Support Both Developers and Integrators

OpenCar Inc., a Seattle-based software company that aims to bridge the gap between automakers and software developers, today announced it has forged a strategic partnership with the Mazda Motor Corporation to launch a new standards-based App platform called OpenCar Connect. In the Mazda booth at the 2014 International CES, OpenCar will demonstrate a new App development paradigm that empowers software developers to create automotive-grade code for multiple automakers.

“Mazda is serious about innovating drivers’ in-car connectivity experience. So we partnered with OpenCar to enable 3rd party developers to create a ground-breaking variety of Apps while promoting the absolute highest level of safety,” said Masashi Yamasaki, General Manager of Electrical & Electronics Development Dept. for Mazda Motor Corporation. “Our collaboration with OpenCar will produce an App platform which Mazda can pre-define our own safety and HMI requirements into and thus enable App developers to create automotive-grade Apps even without expertise about automobiles or safety. We invite 3rd party developers who share Mazda’s game-changing spirit to further our vision for safely enhancing drivers’ connected lifestyles.”

Automakers have put enormous effort into their Connected Car programs with the goal of delivering a safe, seamless experience for their customers. However, it has been challenging to keep pace with the rapidly changing tastes of consumers and constant innovation in the mobile market. Ensuring a safe, uniform experience is a critical design priority for automakers, but this requirement is uncharted territory for most independent App developers. In order to develop for the automotive market, developers must learn each automaker’s standards to meet driving safety requirements and utilize vehicle data.

Founded in 2011 by veterans from the software, cloud and mobile industries, Seattle-based OpenCar has created a new framework and tools that enable the creation of powerful automotive Apps which work seamlessly across divergent makes and models. Automakers and their integrators can use the OpenCar tools to build profiles that match each vehicle’s visual and functional interface design, hardware controls and voice interaction middleware.

“After two years of focused work on this game-changing platform, we are delighted to have this opportunity to showcase it along with Mazda at the world’s largest Consumer Electronics Show,” said Jeff Payne, CEO for OpenCar. “The automotive market is working overtime in its effort to provide choices for the consumer. And while several automakers have released code development libraries that aim to let developers bring their creativity into the car, the developer community is still searching for a complete solution that meets their needs. The OpenCar team has successfully completed many innovation cycles in the connected applications domain, and we understand how an open, standards-based platform can revolutionize a platform’s adoption. The ‘open’ in OpenCar means we make our automotive platform accessible to the large, established developer community through a catalogue of open APIs and familiar tools, technologies and services. We believe this factor, combined with a streamlined process for reusing existing code and integrating new Apps, will finally deliver on the promise of the Connected Car.”

Press or industry analysts attending this year’s International CES are invited to view a live demonstration of the OpenCar platform inside the Mazda booth, located at LVCC, North Hall, #314. To schedule a time, contact Rob Nachbar at 206-427-0389. Software developers interested in learning more about using the OpenCar Software Development Kit can navigate to sdk.opencar.com.

About OpenCar

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Seattle, OpenCar is building the industry’s first open and highly customizable, standards-based platform to safely and securely connect drivers to their digital worlds. With deep experience in core web technologies and platform architecture design, OpenCar is partnering with automotive manufacturers, tier 1 suppliers, and App developers to define a new set of standards that will transform the in-car experience for drivers. OpenCar is a member of the GENIVI consortium. For more information about OpenCar, visit www.opencar.com.

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