Ford’s AppLink Is Now Available On 1M Vehicles, Will Host Developer Challenge At TC Disrupt Hackathon

Ford today announced that its AppLink platform is now available in 1 million vehicles across the company’s fleet. The AppLink API allows developers to link their mobile apps to Ford’s SYNC platform and lets drivers manage the apps through voice controls and radio buttons on their steering wheels. The platform is still invite-only and some of the supported apps include Pandora, TuneIn, Slack Radio and NPR News. Just like last year, Ford will also once again sponsor an AppLink Developer Challenge at our own TC Disrupt San Francisco Hackathon next month.

Last year, local deals service Roximity won the SYNC App Developer Challenge at the Disrupt Hackathon. The application, which just launched earlier this month, alerts users when they are about to drive past a restaurant or store with a deal that fits their preferences.

This year, Ford is looking for 10 teams who will receive access to the AppLink API at the hackathon. The winner, the company tells us, will get “the opportunity to continue development of their app for potential commercial launch.” In addition, Ford will showcase the winning team as part of the company’s display at the 2012 CES in January. Teams that are interested in hacking on Ford’s SYNC technology can submit their ideas now.

As Ford tells us, the company is mostly looking for participants who have experience developing for mobile platforms and who can develop an app that can use the current set of SYNC/AppLink APIs and “is relevant for use in the vehicle while in motion, and lends itself to voice recognition for command and control.”

AppLink is currently available on the 2013 Fiesta and Mustang, as well as the 2012 Expedition, Fusion, F-150 and Super Duty. It will also be available on the 2013 C-MAX Hybrid and select Fusion models later this year.