Xia Yiping(Joe) led the smart car projects like SYNC Applink and SmartDeviceLink at Ford. Applink enables drivers to control mobile apps from supported smartphones, which is embedded with Applink SDK, through voice commands or radio buttons on the steering wheel. Ford now is developing a China market-targeted SmartDeviceLink, an open-source version of Applink, together with leading Chinese mapping service providers Baidu and AutoNavi(an Alibaba company).

Xia, based in Shanghai, China, now is product planning and development manager at the division of connected services of Ford Asia Pacific. He came up with the idea of OpenCarLab, an open-source car project, as recently as in last month.

But he has managed to gather several founding members including pioneers in the movement of revolutionary cars that emerged in China not very long ago — largely thanks to the Tesla hype; among them include newly emerged smart vehicle makers Qinggan and YOUXIA, smart in-car system developer PATEO, car rental service Yongche, and mapping service Amap of AutoNavi.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com