Ford Cars to Run Google's Android OS, Starting in 2023

Ruben Fields
February 2, 2021

While this is unexplored territory for Ford, it's not the first partnership of its kind for Google. back in 2017, Volvo announced that it would begin using Android Auto, which also trickled down to Volvo's electric vehicle brand, known as Polestar.

Today's announcement marks a bit of a turnaround for Ford, which had previously banded together with a group of other auto manufacturers with the explicit goal of keeping Google's role in the automotive industry to a minimum. Beginning in 2023, Ford and Lincoln customers globally will benefit from Android operating system and with Google apps and services built-in.

The companies did not disclose the value of their deal, but Google will receive revenue from cloud services as well as an Android license fee for every Ford and Lincoln vehicle sold starting in 2023.

Ford has announced a partnership with Google, that'll see the tech-giant powering both the connected services and infotainment systems of the Blue Oval's forthcoming cars.

Ford has also picked Google Cloud as its default cloud provider, making use of Google's expertise in data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

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The two companies will establish a new collaborative group called Team Upshift, which will make use of the talent and assets of both Ford and Google to develop anything from new ways to buy a auto, new data-driven ownership offers, and more. However, Ford vice president of strategy and partnerships, David McClelland said "Google will not have access to Ford data in the Google Cloud".

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"We've had a great relationship with Microsoft", McClelland said. "We're creating this much more comprehensive relationship with Google".

Google's services will help Ford its connected and personalized services for customer, but they'll also be deployed in everything from employee training to enhancing business models. But, Ford's implementation will be different, McClelland said.

New Ford frontman 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". Ford didn't immediately clarify what the partnership could mean for an existing deal with Amazon that's brought the Alexa voice assistant into Fords, or if Apple Inc.'s CarPlay system would still be available in their cars.

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