Ford Motor Co. is acquiring Livio, a Michigan-based company whose software allows drivers to connect with their smartphone applications.
Ford's chief technical officer, Paul Mascarenas, said Ford paid less than $10 million for the 11-person startup. Livio will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford.
Mascarenas said Livio complements Ford's efforts to help drivers safely access phone apps like Pandora. Ford currently has 7 million vehicles on the road with its Sync Applink system, which lets drivers access their apps through voice recognition.
Livio CEO Jake Sigal said joining with Ford will help his company's efforts to promote a single standard for in-vehicle connectivity. Car companies are now using a variety of software, which makes it harder to app developers to get their apps into cars.