Automakers Look To Apps For Success

GENEVA (AP) — Automakers are enviously eyeing the booming market for mobile phone applications and now they're reaching for a place on the bandwagon despite safety concerns.

Manufacturers such as Ford and Mercedes hope that letting drivers use mobile-style apps will appeal to younger customers for whom a smartphone is more appealing than a Smart car.

Ford unveiled its SYNC system to European drivers at this year's Geneva Motor Show, starting with the new B-Max family car.

SYNC lets drivers control their phone with voice commands, have a computer read out text and Twitter messages or stream Internet radio through the car speakers.

Experts such as former Ford CTO Richard Parry-Jones say the industry is making progress toward standardized systems but safety still remains a concern.