New models and fresh powertrain options are typical focuses for customers. Auotmakers have to reach futher, diving into the future during the present. Today, Ford has taken a step into its future by announcing a strategic partnership with Google that aims to transform and reinvent the connected vehicle experience.
The partnership will last six years with customers seeing the first fruits of its labor in 2023 when Ford and Lincoln vehicles begin to be powered by Android, with Google app and services built in. Polestar has already taken this leap.
Ford and Google personnel will work together under a new collaborative group, Team Upshift. They are tasked with pushing “the boundaries of Ford’s transformation”, unlocking personalized customer experiences, and “drive disruptive, data-driven opportunities”. As an example, Ford offers that this may include “projects ranging from 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.
“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,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet. “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 part of the agreement, Ford has named Google Cloud as its preferred cloud partner as it aims to leverage Google’s expertise in data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning for future use. 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.
Android in the car also enables Ford and third-party developers to build apps that provide a continuously improving and ever-more-personalized ownership experience.
“We are obsessed with creating must-have, distinctively Ford products and services,” said Farley. “This integration will unleash our teams to innovate for Ford and Lincoln customers while seamlessly providing access to Google’s world-class apps and services.”