On 1st February, Ford and Google announced a remarkable six-year strategic partnership, set to begin in 2023. The partnership is aimed at speeding up Ford’s transformation and reinventing the connected vehicle experience, which will entail a large number of future Ford and Lincoln vehicles at all price points being powered by Android, with built-in Google apps and services. Notably, Ford also named Google Cloud as its preferred cloud provider.
Ford and Google are also establishing a new collaborative group named Team Upshift, which will be able to use the talent and assets of both companies to their advantage. Their work will be directed towards “pushing the boundaries of Ford’s transformation, unlocking personalized consumer experiences, and driving disruptive, data-driven opportunities”. Team Upshift’s projects could include the development of new retail experiences when buying a vehicle, creation of new data-based ownership offers, etc.
Google, as Ford’s preferred cloud provider, will help them leverage Google’s AI, ML, and data analytics technologies to accelerate their digital transformation, modernize their operations, and innovate power connected vehicle technologies with Google Cloud. Ford has established three broad goals which they hope to achieve via this partnership with Google Cloud. Namely –
- Improving customer experiences through differentiated technology and personalized services.
- Accelerating modernization of product development, manufacturing, and supply chain management – this includes exploring the use of vision AI for manufacturing employee training and more reliable plant equipment performance.
- Fast tracking the application of data-driven business models – this will allow customers to receive real-time notices like maintenance requests or trade-in alerts.
This strategic partnership is also a win for Google as it brings in a big customer for its cloud computing technology. Currently, Google Cloud is a little behind their competitors in terms of market shares. This deal will allow Google to expand its cloud computing business and help it become a larger force to reckon with in the cloud market. Ford and Google say they share the vision to bring pleasurable, safer, and more efficient connected vehicle experiences developed to minimize driver distraction and keep customers at the forefront of technology with over-the-air updates. This will add a distinct differentiation and an innovative edge to Ford’s products and services. From 2023, Ford and Lincoln customers across the globe can access unique digital experiences built on top of the Android operating system and with in-built integration of Google apps and services like Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Play. Here’s how this will benefit drivers:
- Google Assistant will remove the need for drivers to take their hands off the wheel, as they will be able to get things done using their voice.
- Google Maps, being the vehicles’ primary navigation, will give drivers access to real-time information on traffic, as well as features like automatic rerouting, lane guidance etc.
- Drivers will also have access to apps for listening to music, podcasts, audiobooks and more with Google Play. These apps will be optimized and integrated for in-vehicle use.
- Additionally, Android in the car also enables Ford and third-party developers to build apps that provide a constantly improving and even more-personalized ownership experience.