Ford and Bug Labs Solar-powered HUD  (Source: Ford)
Modular system will open the door to some cool car tech

Ford was on hand at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference this week and was showing off a new collaboration between with Bug Labs that is used to provide socially-networked in-car connectivity.

Bug Labs is the maker of a modular system that allows users to add internet connectivity to their products. The platform that 
Ford and Bug Labs is using for the in-car connectivity is called OpenXC. This platform is based on the Bug System and will allow the developer community to rapidly prototype and test ideas for use in Ford cars.

Two projects that Ford and Bug Labs were showing off at Disrupt included a socially-connected fuel economy gauge and a heads up display that is solar powered.

“OpenXC is about creating a platform that is totally accessible to the developer community and quickly incorporates local market needs to offer innovative solutions at an affordable price point,” said K. Venkatesh Prasad, senior technical leader, Infotronics, Ford Research and Innovation. “The platform is designed to help us answer the question of how Ford can accelerate the car connectivity experience around the globe, at a value proposition, for both mature and emerging markets.”

Ford is the first carmaker to work with Bug Labs and the two firms see huge potential in the automotive industry. The idea is that the hardware and software could be sold or rented through Ford dealers and other resellers. This would allow the consumer to buy the modular kit and software apps to integrate into their vehicles to get new features.

The system at least for now doesn't appear to integrate with Sync or MyFord Touch

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
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