Ferndale electronics company enters automotive mobile apps race via contract with GM
Ferndale-based Livio Radio today announced its first automaker contract for software designed to integrate mobile apps into vehicles.
General Motors Co. will use the company's Livio Connect protocol software to integrate the popular mobile app TuneIn for the 2013 Chevrolet Spark.
The app will be integrated into the Spark's MyLink Radio infotainment instrument panel to allow users to access TuneIn's 70,000 radio stations. Users can access the app's stations through the Spark's seven-inch touchscreen.
Livio, a dba of Myine Electronics Inc., introduced the software framework this year and has worked to get more contracts, President Massimo Baldini told Crain's in August.
Software developers from all corners of the globe are rushing into automotive infotainment — a $32.5 billion market last year, according to Northville-based IHS Automotive Inc.
Microsoft Corp. software is already in Ford Motor Co. models, and Apple Inc. is making plans to work with manufacturers to install its Siri voice recognition system into cars.
The market already is dominated by other technology companies, meaning 15-employee Livio faces an uphill battle but a realistic opportunity, Joel Hoffmann, a strategist at Intel Corp.'s automotive solutions division in Novi and a board member of the open-source automotive software alliance Genivi, told Crain's in a previous interview.
"The challenge there: The automotive development cycle is so long, and small companies typically need revenue a lot quicker," Hoffmann said.
"With a new, open-source software model, we could see where this whole new supplier world could do things more efficiently, opening up opportunity for companies like Livio."
Livio Radio estimated revenue at $6 million in 2010 but declined to provide 2011 or projected 2012 revenue.
CEO Jake Sigal founded Livio in 2008 and was a Crain's 20 in Their 20s honoree in 2010.