Ford announced at its CES media event this afternoon that it wants to reduce the number of platforms developers need to target in the nascent car-to-smartphone integration market, and to do that, it's contributing its Sync AppLink system — a staple of modern Ford cars — to the public domain with the intention of "exploring" turning it into a standard. Sync has become so thoroughly synonymous with Ford in recent years that it's difficult to imagine other car companies adopting a key component of it, but regardless, it's a bold move for an industry not historically known for its tech prowess.

No announcements have been made by other automakers pledging interest or support, but the year is young: the trend-setting North American International Auto Show is just days away.