Ford and Google announced a tech partnership that will see new vehicles equipped with the Google Android platform starting in 2023. In addition, Monday’s announcement says that Google apps and services will be integrated into Ford and Lincoln models spanning the full price spectrum.

The partnership has been agreed upon for a six-year term, taking Ford to almost the end of the decade. The companies will form a new group collectively, calling it Team Upshift. This initiative will empower Ford to “unlock personalized consumer experiences, and drive disruptive, data-driven opportunities”. It’s intended to be relevant for the complete ownership lifecycle, from their retail experience through to their next vehicle shopping experience. 

Ford’s President and 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 modernize our business.

“We are 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.” 

How the partnership helps Ford 

A collaboration with Google takes the strain off of Ford to develop their own operating systems in vehicles as they become more advanced. That’s especially useful as carmakers navigate massive industry shifts with 5G integration, advancements in connected cars and infrastructure, and vehicles with more computerized tech than ever. 

As an example, the formation of Stellantis between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group allows for around $6 billion in cost reduction savings annually as they share technology to streamline and boost profits. As Ford moves forward, those revenue savings will be more important than ever to assert their position in the North American and global markets while producing cutting-edge vehicles for the consumer. That’s particularly true for car buyers looking for feature-rich yet affordable models.  

Striving to stay innovative 

With the industry advancing in leaps and bounds, both with driver-interactive tech and connected systems, it’s critical for Ford to make strategic partnerships. Google Cloud, along with AI, machine learning, and data analytics, allows for improvements in the CX, product development and manufacturing, and implementation of “real-time notices such as maintenance requests or trade-in alerts”. 

Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said, “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. 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.”

Starting in 2023, new Ford vehicle buyers can expect to find Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play as some of the Android-based tools in their vehicle. 

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