Joyride asks: Why invest in a connected car when a smartphone will do?


Automakers are coaxing entertainment apps out of the smartphone and into the dashboard, turning the connected car into the next big mobile services platform. But a new startup in San Francisco called Joyride is wondering why you would even bother with dashboard software development if the tools for making a good in-car app are already in the smartphone.

Joyride is creating a voice user interface for the smartphone designed to function much like the voice command-and-control systems in your car. Founders Jeff Chen and James Zhang created Skyvi, a voice-assistant app for Android that received 5 million downloads. With the help of $1 million in seed funding, they’re now building similar voice-interaction technology into Joyride with the aim of creating a game, entertainment and education platform that is fully hands-free. Though you could use its app anywhere, Joyride CEO Chen said, it’s most useful within the restrictive confines of…

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