Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has acquired a Ferndale, Michigan based company that develop mobile app integration for automobiles. Ford acquired the company to accelerate the streaming of information in future vehicles and to establish a technical standard other suppliers and automakers can use, according to The Detroit Free Press.
The deal is valued at under $10 million, but the specific terms were undisclosed. Paul Mascarenas, CTO and VP of Ford Research and Innovation, announced the acquisition this morning during a conference call.
Livio will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford’s global electronics division and will maintain their name. The last time that Ford made a technology acquisition was in 2000 was when they set up a joint venture with Qualcomm for a telematics company called Wingcast.
Livio will keep their workforce of 11 engineers and developers in Ferndale. Ford’s AppLink engineers will work with Livio to create a standard for integrating radio apps in vehicles. Livio Radio CEO Jake Sigal and Mascarenas has known each other for the last 3 years.
The two of them have been attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) every January and Livio scored their first major contract with Pandora-branded radios in 2006. Ford paid for the acquisition through licensing income from their technology.
Livio also works with other customers like General Motors for the entertainment systems used in the Chevrolet Spark. Through Livio technology, the TuneIn app can be used to stream AM/FM stations from around the world through GM’s MyLink Radio.