Ford and Google have announced a new partnership that will span a period of six years. The deal will see the former’s automobiles to be powered by the tech company‘s Android operating system and feature integrated first-party apps such as Maps, Voice Assistant and Play from 2023 onwards.
The partnership would also enable the automaker to embrace digitalisation by transforming major aspects of its car business. This includes the process of designing, engineering and assembly of its vehicles, as well as customer experience in terms of retail and onboard features. To facilitate this, both Ford and Google are establishing a new collaborative group called Team Upshift, which combines the talent and assets from both companies.
The car manufacturer has also named Google Cloud as its preferred cloud provider to leverage on the tech company’s expertise in data, artificial intelligence and machine learning. This would enable the automaker to implement data-driven business models, such as providing car owners with real-time notices such as maintenance requests or trade-in alerts.
In regards to privacy concerns, Ford vice president of strategy and partnerships David McClelland told Forbes that all customer data will be secured and not be used for monetisation. “Google (will) not have access to Ford data in the Google cloud,” he 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 modernise our business,” said Ford president and CEO Jim 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.”
As mentioned earlier, the automaker plans to integrate Google’s Android OS, its apps and features to Ford and Lincoln branded vehicles beginning in 2023. The rollout will be done globally, providing most markets with the new Ford-Google cars and services – except for China, where the tech company is banned.