File picture: Lionel Bonaventure / AFP.
File picture: Lionel Bonaventure / AFP.

New tech tie-up will see future Fords incorporating Google Android software

By AFP Time of article published Feb 2, 2021

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DETROIT - Ford and Google have announced an alliance that will see the internet giant's cloud computing systems powering in-car services as well as improving factory-floor efficiencies for the carmaker.

The six-year partnership includes establishing a new group called Team Upshift, which will be devoted to interweaving online computing with on-road vehicles in new ways, such as ownership deals based on data, according to the companies.

"Google and Ford coming together establishes an innovation powerhouse truly able to deliver a superior experience for our customers and modernize our business," Ford chief executive Jim Farley said in a joint release on Monday evening.

Beginning in two years, an array of Ford and Lincoln models will include Google's Android software, with apps and services such as Maps navigation powered by artificial intelligence.

"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," Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said.

Car buyers will still be able to opt for CarPlay software from Apple or Alexa virtual assistant from Amazon in vehicles, according to Ford.

The partnership includes Google artificial intelligence (AI) and data-centre skills being put to work helping modernise Ford's manufacturing; employee training; product development, and supply chain management, according to the companies.

General Motors last month announced an alliance with Microsoft on its Cruise autonomous driving venture, combining forces to challenge Tesla and others in an electric car market expected to rev with Joe Biden's environment-friendly administration in the White House.

Agence France-Presse

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