Ford and Microsoft partnered to create an application platform to build custom apps for the car as part of a project called "American Journey 2.0".  The platform itself -- called "Fiestaware" -- is built on top of Windows 7 and Robotics Developer Studio, and includes components optimized to work with Windows Azure.  Ford, Microsoft, and University of Michigan are showing the Fiestaware application platform at Maker Faire this weekend (May 22-23rd) in San Mateo, CA, running inside of two Ford Fiestas, along with apps built on the platform by Ford and by students at the University of Michigan.

The project was supported by Ford, University of Michigan, Microsoft and other partners.  Cumulux provided developers the early builds of the Fiestaware platform.  Intel donated the Dell Studio PCs to run in the Fiestas and Intel SSDs to run inside the Dell Studios.  Sprint provided wireless 3G and 4G wireless communications during the road trip. Note that this project is not directly related to Ford SYNC.  Ford Sync is a production offering that helps you bring your digital life into your car.  American Journey 2.0 is a research platform exploring how to bring your car into your digital life.

If you are curious about the Fiestaware platform technology components, the list below should satisfy your curiosity.

  • Platform  is built on Windows 7
    • It supports natural user interfaces, such as touch and speech interaction
    • Its user interface is built with .NET (Windows Presentation Foundation)
  • Platform supports using SQL CE on the PC in the vehicle to cache/synchronize with SQL Azure in order to handle intermittent connectivity gracefully
  • Application development environment is Visual Studio 2008 with Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio. Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio is used to manage access and coordinate use of resources on the embedded vehicle network (e.g., vehicle sensor data) and in Windows 7 (e.g., Windows 7 Speech API).
  • Additionally, Microsoft provided access to the Windows Azure Platform. 

Check out more detail by clicking the picture below.

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