In car entertainment - Smart device link

Hello all. First time posting here. I hope I can become valued contributor to the community.

As integration of smart devices and our means of personal transportation is very common, and avoiding the use of our phones while driving is for our safety (and to avoid fines). Will the Librem 5 be compatible with smart device link?

Smart Device Link

I know some of this will rely on app developers and the infotainment system being used in the car.


hello ! safety in the car for me would also mean to mantain the electronics isolated from connected smart devices.

example: most modern cars have the electronics control the ignition, acceleration, decelaration, steering, braking, and are even able to mix and match this systems to control other phenomena that might happen during extreme driving conditions.

i would not want to surrender control of my cruise control system to a smart-device that’s probably non-freedom respecting and posibly compromised.

i say - let the car be a car

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Bluetooth will get you there. If a plug-in to the OBD (on board diagnostic (probably OBD-II)) systems is required, I’m sure there are plenty of 3rd-party Bluetooth offerings. I’ve been out of automotive for 7 years, but I haven’t heard of any big changes. Auto Infotainment systems were looking at mobile wifi 10 years ago.

I was thinking more for voice control of the phone for making and receiving calls while driving. The access and control of stored music or MP3 player on the phone through the head unit would be nice too.

I wouldn’t want this to have access to essential car controls or operations. There are other ways of doing data logging and telemetry recording if needed by a user.

Smart device link is an open source platform.


SDL is the industry standard for open source in-vehicle connectivity. For automakers and suppliers, SDL adoption broadens the choices for customers in how they connect and control their smartphones while on the move. SDL is the open source software on which the Ford AppLink platform is built. Industry adoption of SDL provides significant benefits to developers interested in connecting their apps for safer in-vehicle use.

Taken from the SDL website

As I said this depends on apps and the infotainment system being used. If there is no hardware and is level support it will not function either.

I’m not looking for Android Auto or Apple CarPlay styles of systems. Press the call button on the steering wheel or head unit and say “call john doe” or change tracks in my play list with the up and down buttons.

Hope this isn’t too long and it is clear.

Just as a bit of extra information the Clarion FX688A head unit is SDL compatible.
Clarion - FX688A

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the key ingredient for a happy life is open hardware. so free software + open hardware. even if it’s open source there are lower rings in the hardware that can be exploited.

all things considered in a car isolation IS safety.

It would be wonderful to have a complete open ecosystem of hardware and software. All following open standards for interoperability.

Isolated systems would be the most secure so interoperability would be moot.

If we wanted a phone like that then we shouldn’t include a camera or Bluetooth or 4G LTE. And the mobile modem should only be active when in use. Making calls and sending texts. I guess nobody would receive them though.

No matter how you look at it a smartphone is a convenience device. Have internet access isn’t necessary to make a phone call. And we are willing to forgive the other end of the connection of the internet. We know the security of our phone but we don’t know the hardware and software of the server we connect to.

Don’t mean to rant just if I’m connected to my car’s head unit via USB and using an open standard, I think my setup is probably going to be more secure than any connections to the internet.

Hi and welcome! I would say there will likely be many people wanting some form of car connectivity so it seems probable to me that you may be able to, at least eventually. I haven’t got any useful information for you though, I’m just making an assumption. There was also this thread a while back which had some interesting comments.

@36w4r6, thank you for bringing the subject. I see it as well very important and let me quote you as well: “the use of our phones while driving is for our safety”. Here just to try to explain, one of the SDLC Members is GARMIN having and offering to customers of their modern navigation products application called Smartphone Link. So as I understand usage of Smart Device Link applications is about streaming of live data to the built in (dashboard) car infotainment or navigation system by using (through Bluetooth connection) your SIM card connected to the Internet in order to be able to downstream and inform you on time and accurately about (for example) current traffic jams or incidents or “just” about significant weather change. How Smartphone Link works when connected I need to say that it changes your route automatically (simplifying but not much) and on time if there is an optional one in order to avoid and save your time.
Another example of how can you use live data and link those directly (without Bluetooth) within the particular application would be example of Live HD Traffic information from MapFactor Navigator and this feature also works with free (OSM) maps (within Android). Still for my interest in L5 usage of Live Traffic data for Navigation on Embedded Linux would be involving of Mapbox but this one goes to this this thread.

In this presentation is explained Smart Device Link approach … from iOS and Android smart devices
into Linux based automotive systems.


Thank you for the presentation you linked to.

It looks like it might not need to be a core component of the Librem 5 to function. At least not a hardware level.

I will have to dig deeper but it looks like it might be possible to work if the apps are configured to do so. I will do some testing with media apps on the laptop and tablet with an SDL compatible head unit.

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