Starting in 2023 Ford vehicles will no longer feature the automaker’s proprietary operating system Sync.
Instead, as part of a new six year partnership with Google, Ford will be making use of Android for all of its vehicles outside of China from 2023.
This is good news for Ford which currently has a range of Sync variants available, each with different levels of functionality. Switching to Android then may help to homogenise the vehicle manufacturer’s ecosystem.
“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,” president and chief executive officer of Ford, Jim Farley, said of the partnership.
Something very important to note about this partnership is the formation of Team Upshift. Fast and Furious-esque naming aside, the team will compromise of talent from Google and Ford working together to “push the boundaries of Ford’s transformation, unlock personalized consumer experiences, and drive disruptive, data-driven opportunities”.
Ford will also be making use of Google Cloud to accelerate its digital transformation and modernise operations.
Interestingly, autonomous vehicles are only mentioned briefly in a press release announcing the partnership. Instead, Ford appears to be focused on making use of Google’s artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to improve customer experiences, train employees and improve after-sales services for now.
There’s also the matter of a version of Google’s Play Store coming to the Android operating system in Ford’s vehicles. This will allow you to download apps directly to your car. Updates to the operating system will be delivered over the air.
“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,” Google chief executive officer, Sundar Pichai, said in a statement.
“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,” Pichai added.
[Source – Ford]