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What is SDL?

SmartDeviceLink (SDL) connects in-vehicle infotainment systems to smartphone applications. SDL allows automakers to provide highly integrated connected experiences and offers app developers new and exciting ways to connect with consumers.

There are many components that make up the SDL ecosystem, which is open source and available on GitHub. A few of the major components are described below.

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SDL Core is the software that vehicle manufacturers (OEMs) implement in their head units. Integrating this component into their head unit and human machine interface (HMI) based on a set of guidelines and templates enables access to various smartphone applications.

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iOS and Android libraries are implemented by application developers into their application to enable command and control via the connected head unit. The goal is that one SDL integration will allow the application to connect to multiple OEM head units because they all use the SDL Protocol.

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The optional SDL Server can be used by OEMs to update application policies and gather usage information for connected applications.

With SDL, consumers can interact with their application using common in-vehicle interfaces such as a touch screen display, embedded voice recognition, and steering wheel controls.

SDL is governed by the SmartDeviceLink Consortium (SDLC), an open source community made up of OEMs, suppliers, and application developers, focused on making SDL the industry standard for in-vehicle application connectivity.

For a more in-depth technical overview of the SmartDeviceLink project and its components, download the About SDL White Paper.

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For Automakers

In The Car
If you're embedding SDL into the vehicle, your primary resource is our HMI Documentation.

  • Branded experiences
  • Application management and membership
  • Software ownership
  • Customer data stewardship
  • Safety and driver distraction responsibility
  • Finely tuned access to vehicle modules and controls
  • Data and analytics
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For Developers

Developing for SDL is easy. Head over to the Android or iOS documentation pages to get started!

  • Branded experiences
  • Application management and membership
  • Software ownership
  • Customer data stewardship
  • Safety and driver distraction responsibility
  • Finely tuned access to vehicle modules and controls
  • Data and analytics
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For Drivers

If you’re a smartphone owner and an internet user, the aggregate of information and personalization you’ve applied to various profiles and applications over the years has become an extension of yourself. SDL enables App Developers to bring that extension of you into the vehicle without exposing your data unnecessarily and through the developers you trust. SDL enables Automakers to complement their unique experiences and brands with your apps, rather than replace them.

  • Ownership of data and privacy
  • Personalization
  • Utility

Contribute

Core
For OEMs and suppliers implementing SDL in their vehicle, access the SDL_Core GitHub repository.

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Android and iOS
For Application Developers creating SDL-enabled mobile applications, access the Android and iOS Libraries.

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SDL Evolution
Have an idea for a new SDL feature? Submit a proposal in the SDL Evolution repository on GitHub. Check out the SDL Evolution Process doc for more information before getting started.

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