Ford, Google announce partnership for in-vehicle services

DEARBORN—Ford Motor Co. and Google have announced a partnership to create new services for connected vehicles.

Ford also named Google Cloud its preferred cloud provider, and said that beginning in 2023, future Ford and Lincoln vehicles at all price points will be powered by Android, with Google apps and services built-in.

The partnership includes a new collaborative group, Team Upshift. Combining the talent and assets of both companies, Team Upshift will take on a variety of initiatives, which the companies said could include developing new retail experiences when buying a vehicle, creating new ownership offers based on data, and more.

“As Ford continues the most profound transformation in our history with electrification, connectivity and self-driving, Google and Ford coming together establishes an innovation powerhouse truly able to deliver a superior experience for our customers and modernize our business,” said Jim Farley, president and CEO of Ford.

Added Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and its parent, Alphabet: “From the first moving assembly line to the latest driver-assist technology, Ford has set the pace of innovation for the automotive industry for nearly 120 years. We’re proud to partner to apply the best of Google’s AI, data analytics, compute and cloud platforms to help transform Ford’s business and build automotive technologies that keep people safe and connected on the road.”

As its preferred cloud provider and starting later this year, Google will help Ford leverage Google Cloud’s artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics technologies to accelerate the automaker’s digital transformation, modernize operations, and power connected vehicle technologies with Google’s trusted, secure, and reliable cloud. With Google Cloud, Ford plans to:

  • Further improve customer experiences for customers with differentiated technology and personalized services;
  • Accelerate modernization of product development, manufacturing and supply chain management, including exploration of using vision AI for manufacturing employee training and even more reliable plant equipment performance;
  • Fast track the implementation of data-driven business models resulting in customers receiving real-time notices such as maintenance requests or trade-in alerts.

The Android services available in Ford and Lincoln vehicles beginning in 2023 will include:

  • With Google Assistant, drivers can keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, by getting things done with just their voice.
  • With Google Maps as the vehicles’ primary navigation, drivers can reach their destination faster with information on real-time traffic, automatic rerouting, lane guidance and more.
  • With Google Play, drivers will have access to their favorite apps for listening to music, podcasts, audiobooks and more. These apps are optimized and integrated for in-vehicle use.

Officials of both companies also said Android in the car also enables Ford and third-party developers to build apps that provide a constantly improving and ever-more-personalized ownership experience.

More at www.ford.com or www.google.com.

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