The Strategic Partnership Between Google & Ford That Is Set To Reinvent The Connected Vehicle

4 Mar 2021

Ford and Google have partnered up in a bid to “reinvent the connected vehicle experience” as the car manufacturer looks to ramp up its business transformation plan.

Ford and Google have partnered up in a bid to "reinvent the connected vehicle experience" as the car manufacturer looks to ramp up its business transformation plan.

During this six-year strategic alliance, Google will provide Ford with its huge amount of expertise in data, artificial intelligence and machine learning, with all Ford and Lincoln models set to have infotainment systems powered by Android tech from 2023 onwards.
This means that Ford will be moving away from its Sync infotainment system that was previously developed in partnership with Microsoft. Having said that any Fords bought in China won’t feature the new infotainment system as Google’s services are banned there.
This collaboration between Google and For will be under the banner of Team Upshift. The goal for Team Upshift is to “unlock personalised consumer experiences”, which will range from point-of-purchase processes through to ownership offers based on available data. They are also aiming to bring “enjoyable, safer and more efficient connected vehicle experiences built to minimise driver distraction and keep customers at the forefront of technology with over-the-air updates”. All of this sounds hugely exciting and with Google behind it we have no doubt that we will see some truly amazing advancements to the in-car technologies offered by Ford.
Google Cloud has been named as the preferred software cloud provider for Ford. This means that the car maker will be able to make use of existing data analytics and artificial-intelligence functions, which will in turn enhance its product development and manufacturing operations. There will also be a noticeable benefit for Ford drivers once this functionality is in place as it will also provide vehicle owners with real-time updates regarding scheduled servicing or trade-in offers.
From 2023 onwards we will see Google Assistant voice control functionality, Google Maps navigation, and the Google Play entertainment interface as standard in all Ford and Lincoln vehicles. It has also been suggested that there will be additional apps built by third-party developers specifically for Ford drivers.
According to a spokesman at Ford this system will allow them “to have a more intimate relationship with a customer, because their behaviour in a vehicle will make all our interactions personalised”. This may cause concerns with some over personal data and how this may be used, but a Google spokesman assured journalists at the press conference for the announcement that this data wouldn’t be shared with advertisers in any way.
Ford CEO Jim Farley 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.
“We're obsessed with creating must-have, distinctively Ford products and services. 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.”
Ford certainly isn’t the first car manufacturer to enlist the help of  Google, with others such as the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance and Volvo also teaming up with them to develop new Android-based infotainment systems, but it does show that there are definitely going to be a lot of strides forwards in the technology and personalisation that we will see in cars in the years to come.