Ford, Google Strike Six-Year Partnership
Ford Motor Company and Google reached a six-year agreement to make Google Android the official operating system of the automaker’s vehicles. Beginning in 2023, all new Ford and Lincoln vehicles will have Google apps and services built in.
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The new partnership also makes Google Cloud Ford’s preferred cloud provider. This gives Ford access to Google’s artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data tools, which Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai says will aid Ford’s ongoing evolution and benefit customers.
“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 Ford President and CEO Jim Farley.
New Ford, Lincoln vehicles getting Android OS from 2023
The most immediate customer-facing benefit of the partnership is the use of the Android OS in future Ford and Lincoln vehicles sold everywhere excluding China. This will ensure that vehicles from 2023 and onward offer Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play functionality out of the box. The flexibility of the platform should also make it easier for third parties to develop apps that further improve the ownership experience.
Though Google will become the de facto OS, Ford confirms that future vehicles will still be able to support features like Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa. Ford has not confirmed whether this means that it will do away with the SYNC infotainment platform.
To better ensure mutual benefits, Google and Ford are also creating a joint group called Team Upshift. Using talents and resources from both companies, the group will look for ways to improve the customer experience. Ford offers up examples like exclusive offers based on insights pulled from consumer data and innovative retail experiences.
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