Ford plans to "reinvent the connected vehicle experience."
If you've ever wondered why automakers don't hardwire Google or Apple operating systems in their car rather than making your cellphone do all the work, well, we're about to be a step closer to that happening. Ford has announced a six-year partnership with Google that will mean "millions of future Ford and Lincoln vehicles at all price points will be powered by Android, with Google apps and services built-in." However, it goes a bit deeper than the Ford Sync infotainment system using apps like Google Maps rather than developing and maintaining its own navigation system.
Other services Ford plans to integrate into infotainment systems include Google Assistant for voice commands and Google Play for access to music, audiobooks, and podcasts. Using the Android operating system will also allow the automaker and third-party developers to build apps specifically for Ford vehicles and its customers. Ford isn't the first automaker to announce a partnership with Google, but this looks like it will be the most in-depth integration.
"We are obsessed with creating must-have, distinctively Ford products and services," said Jim Farley, President, and CEO of Ford. "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."
A new group within Ford is also being created through the partnership called Team Upshift. The team's mission is to work on personalized consumer experiences and "drive disruptive data-driven opportunities." Ford says the team's projects will include "developing new retail experiences when buying a vehicle, creating new ownership offers based on data, and more." Behind the scenes, Ford plans to modernize and improve product development, manufacturing, and supply chain management using Google's analytic, machine learning, and artificial intelligence systems.
Expect to start seeing the new systems in new Ford Mustangs, F-150s, Explorers, Broncos, and the Edge etc, in 2023.