Ford & Google Partner to Accelerate Connected Vehicle Innovation & Experiences

Ford and Google have announced a strategic partnership to create new services for Ford and Lincoln customers and to accelerate a transformation plan outlined by the automaker. Ford has also named Google Cloud its preferred cloud provider, saying they will leverage Google’s expertise in data, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML). As part of this six-year partnership, future Ford and Lincoln vehicles at all price points will be powered by Android, with Google apps and services, beginning in 2023.

Team Upshift

To drive and facilitate innovation, Ford and Google have established a new collaborative group called Team Upshift. According to Ford and Google, Team Upshift will push the boundaries of Ford’s overall transformation by identifying data-driven and potentially disruptive opportunities, including the development of personalized consumer experiences. This may include new retail experiences when buying a vehicle and creating new ownership offers based on relevant data.

“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,” added 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.”

Goals & Objectives

Starting later in 2021, Ford will leverage Google Cloud’s AI, ML, and data analytics technologies to accelerate the automaker’s digital transformation, modernize operations, and power connected vehicle technologies. With Google Cloud, Ford plans to:

  • Improve customer experiences with differentiated technology and personalized services.
  • Accelerate modernization of product development, manufacturing, and supply chain management.
  • Explore using vision AI for manufacturing employee training and 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.

Leveraging Map & Voice Technology

Ford and Google say they have a shared vision for bringing more enjoyable, safer, and efficient connected vehicles to the market that minimize driver distraction. In 2023, Ford and Lincoln customers worldwide will have access to new digital experiences from the Android operating system and Google apps and services inside the vehicle. Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play will be at the center of these unique digital experiences.

With Google Assistant, drivers can accomplish certain tasks via voice commands so they can keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Google Maps will serve as the vehicle’s primary navigation system and provide drivers with real-time traffic updates, automatic rerouting, and lane guidance. Google Play lets drivers access their favorite apps for things like music, audiobooks, and podcasts. Additionally, in-car Android capability will allow Ford and other third-party developers to build apps that enhance the ownership experience.

“We are obsessed with creating must-have, distinctively Ford products and services,” Farley added. “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.”