Ford this morning announced a wide-ranging partnership with Google to help the automaker adapt to “seismic changes as new technology transforms the way people move.” Ford and Lincoln cars will soon use Android Automotive, while there’s also a cloud component to this deal.
Employees from both companies will be working on “future innovations” as part of a new “Team Upshift” collaborative group. This will result in “unlock personalized consumer experiences, and drive disruptive, data-driven opportunities,” with projects to modernize manufacturing plants through AI, new retail experiences, and “creating new ownership offers based on connected vehicle data.” There’s also talk about changes to the car ownership model:
Teaming up with Google allows us to accelerate our ability to challenge our current ownership model and deploy new business models to capture recurring revenue and profit from software, data and connected ecosystems.
Google confirmed to 9to5Google today that Ford and Lincoln will be using Android Automotive starting in 2023. This system features Assistant for voice commands, Google Maps navigation, and the Play Store, with Ford noting how its developers will “create even more apps to enable an improving and more personalized ownership experience.”
Today, Android Automotive is available on the Polestar 2 and Volvo XC40, while cars from Groupe PSA (Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroen, Opel) and GM (Chevrolet, Cadillac) will soon feature it. Compared to Android Auto (or CarPlay), carmakers can heavily customize the design and user interface to take after existing systems.
Ford notes how this deal means it can focus on creating “unique Ford and Lincoln customer innovations” and less development time on the underlying OS, which falls to Google.
That includes exciting designs you can’t miss, but also unique in-vehicle experiences that make each trip more enjoyable, and better than the last one. It means that whether our customers are hard at work, braving the great outdoors or looking for peace and mind on the road, we’re building a future tailored specifically for their needs.
On the backend, Ford has chosen Google Cloud as its preferred cloud provider. This will allow for:
Fast-tracking the implementation of business models resulting in customers receiving real-time notices such as maintenance requests or trade-in alerts.
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