Ford has signed a six year deal with Google to revamp the digital technology in its vehicles, that will also see the companies collaborating on the automaker’s broader digital transformation and new business models for car sharing.
Announced today the partnership includes Google becoming Ford’s preferred public cloud provider and Android auto being built into millions of Ford vehicles from 2023. Commercial terms were not disclosed.
The two companies will establish a new collaborative group, known as “Team Upshift”, to partner on Ford’s transformation and new car related experiences including “new ownership offers based on connected vehicle data”.
Ford has been exploring connected and autonomous vehicles for years and has previously had similar commercial partnerships with Chinese tech giant Alibaba.
Google will now be the auto incumbents preferred digital technology partner and look to use its cloud technology to improve customer experiences, improve product development and supply chains, and for data-driven business models like automated service notices to customers and trade in alerts.
The deal also includes the agreement that Ford will built-in Android and Google services like its maps and voice technology.
Ford has said it will not be sharing its customer data with the US tech giant, however, amid fears auto companies may be relegated to low margin hardware assemblers by tech giants pushing into the sector.
Ford and its fellow auto incumbents are under pressure from disruptors like Tesla which have attracted huge attention and investment, in part because of their ability to leverage vehicle data and emerging technology.
Several have recently partnered with tech giants to speed up their own pace, including Toyota with Amazon last year and Volkswagen with Microsoft in 2019.
“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 president and CEO, Jim Farley, said in a statement today.