Ford has announced a new partnership with Google that will affect multiple aspects of its vehicles, from their infotainment system to artificial intelligence.
One of the biggest results everyday car buyers will see from the U.S. automaker’s new 6-year partnership with the tech giant will be vehicle operating systems. Beginning in 2023, Ford and Lincoln vehicles will be use Google’s Android operating system.
While most new cars today offer smartphone integration of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Ford and Google’s partnership takes this to a new level.
The operating system will be a powerhouse that offers integrated features like Google Maps, Google Play, and Google Assistant, in addition to third-party apps. If you’re already a user of CarPlay or Amazon Alexa, don’t fret: Those systems are expected to also continue to work in the new ecosystem.
In addition to harnessing the power of Google’s Android system, Ford said that Google will be its preferred cloud provider starting later this year. For that aspect of the relationship, Ford said it will leverage Google Cloud’s artificial intelligence, machine learning and and data analytics technologies “to accelerate the automaker’s digital transformation, modernize operations, and power connected vehicle technologies with Google’s trusted, secure, and reliable cloud.”
At the moment, only the all-electric Volvo XC40 Recharge and an electric car by Volvo’s Polestar has such deep integration with Android Auto. More could very well be on the way, further highlighting how your next car might be as much about the software as it is the hardware.