Ford names Google as its cloud provider and is preparing to adopt Google technologies to power the systems of its connected vehicles.
After Renault, it is the turn of the automotive leader Ford to show its preference for Google technologies. The automaker has announced a partnership with the Mountain View firm to accelerate its transformation and improve the connected driving experience of its vehicles.
As part of this six-year partnership, Ford and Lincoln vehicles will be powered from 2023 by Android, with integrated Google apps and services. Ford says it will continue to offer the Ford Sync in-vehicle system until the transition to Google Android takes effect.
“As Ford pursues the most profound transformation in its history with electrification, connectivity, and autonomous driving, the merger of Google and Ford allows the establishment of a true center of innovation capable of offering a personalized experience to our users and modernize our business, ”says Jim Farley, president of Ford.
Ford also chose Google Cloud to leverage the vendor's experience with data management, AI, and machine learning. This new partnership, established for six years from 2023, will lead to “millions of future Ford and Lincoln vehicles, all models combined, to be equipped with Android, with integrated Google applications and services,” said a statement.
The companies will also work hand-in-hand to modernize Ford's product development and improve its manufacturing and supply chain strategy, including using Google's AI for worker training and assembly line inspection.
Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, says the collaboration is the "first of its kind," and "promises to transform both Ford and the auto industry."
Ford and Google will also set up a collaborative group, called Team Upshift. It will be intended to open up data-based perspectives, notably including projects ranging "from the development of new vehicle purchasing experiences to the creation of new data-based purchasing offers," explains the automotive group. He will focus on developing personalized experiences for consumers, such as data-driven ownership offers, new retail purchase options, and real-time driver notifications on vehicle maintenance recommendations.
"From the first mobile assembly line to the latest driver assistance technology, Ford has been driving innovation in the automotive industry for nearly 120 years," said Sunder Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet. “We are proud to partner to put the best of Google's artificial intelligence, data analytics, compute, and cloud platforms into practice to help transform Ford's business and develop automotive technologies that keep everyone on the road safe and connected. "
A “unique” co-creation team in the landscape
From Ford's perspective, the automaker highlights Google's leadership in AI, machine learning, and data analytics, as well as the robustness of the Android operating system, as the main drivers of the partnership. “We believe this co-creation team will be truly unique and special in the industry,” comments David McClelland, vice president of strategy and partnerships at Ford. “It will push the boundaries of our modernization efforts. Through this partnership, Ford plans in particular to improve the customer experience, while accelerating the modernization of product development.
From 2023, Ford and Lincoln users will be able to benefit from digital tools based on the Android operating system, and integrated Google services useful in the navigation experience, including Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play.
“We are stubbornly focused on creating unique and must-have Ford products and services,” says Jim Farley. “This integration will allow our teams to innovate for Ford and Lincoln users while providing seamless access to Google's world-class applications and services,” he concludes.
The companies did not disclose the commercial elements of the deal, especially with regard to revenue sharing.