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Ford and Google partnership to accelerate auto innovation

Ford and Google announce a unique partnership to re-invent the connected vehicle experience and hasten Ford’s digital transformation. 

Ford has named Google Cloud as “its preferred cloud provider to leverage Google’s world-class expertise in data, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML)”.

As Ford’s preferred cloud provider, starting later this year, Google says it “will help Ford leverage Google Cloud’s AI, ML and data analytics technologies to accelerate the automaker’s digital transformation, modernise operations, and power connected vehicle technologies with Google’s trusted, secure, and reliable cloud.”

The partnership will commence in 2023 and will last for six years. Millions of future Ford and Lincoln vehicles at every price point will be powered by Android, with Google based apps and services built-in. Fortunately for Apple users, Apple Car Play will still be offered despite the recent Google partnership.

In an effort to encourage ongoing innovation, Ford and Google established a new collaborative group called Team Upshift.

To take advantage of the talent and assets of both Ford and Google, the new cooperative “will push the boundaries of Ford’s transformation, unlock personalized consumer experiences, and drive disruptive, data-driven opportunities”.

Projects might include developing new retail experiences when purchasing a car and creating new and unique ownership offers based on data.

For Ford’s Australian team, we’re told “this partnership is exciting news for Ford’s large Australian engineering team, which will be responsible for integrating the technology in the vehicles it develops for 180 markets and millions of consumers around the world. This will enable Ford’s Australian team to accelerate its capabilities in tech-auto integration even more rapidly, positioning it to become a world leader in this vital and growing space.”

Jim Farley, President and CEO of Ford said: “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”.

With Google Cloud, Ford says it plans to:

– Further improve customer experiences for customers with differentiated technology and personalised services
– Accelerate modernisation 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.

According to Ford, “In future, customers may benefit from tech that will reduce incidents on the road, move traffic through lights more efficiently and reduce traffic jams, and, as will be the case with the Ford-Google partnership, offer personalised and seamless integration of their digital ecosystems with their vehicles”.

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