Ford and Google will work together. This means that millions of Ford cars will be equipped with Android and Google services.
Ford has just announced a major collaboration with Google that is expected to last at least six years. The two companies have announced that millions of Ford and Lincoln brand vehicles will be powered by the Android operating system from 2023. Google will bring its apps and services.
We are not talking about Android Auto, the interface now offered by all car manufacturers, but a real operating system. As early as 2017, Volvo and Audi had shown the first prototypes equipped with Android that we had observed during conferences.
Definitely Android Automotive as OS
As mentioned The Verge, it should beAndroid Automotive, even if Ford does not explicitly mention it. Unlike Android Auto, Android Automotive is an independent operating system that runs in the vehicle and does not require a smartphone. The idea is to use Android as the operating system for the entire vehicle interior: both the central console and the cockpit. Through this announcement, Ford is therefore putting aside its years of research to let Google interfere a little more in the field.
More specifically, this means that you will find Google Assistant, Google Pay Store, Google Maps, Waze… directly in your car with the possibility of installing other third-party applications.
It was in 2020 that the first vehicle with this technology came out on the market: the Polestar 2 (electric vehicle, subsidiary of Volvo). Volvo also marketed the XC40, an SUV also equipped with Android Automotive. Until now, Ford had relied on Blackberry QNX with the SYNC interface. The U.S. automaker has not disclosed what will happen to its current infotainment system.
Beyond Android integration, the two groups also announced that Ford had chosen Google Cloud as its cloud provider. This partnership in artificial intelligence and machine learning is also expected to be used in production, supply chain management and customer support.
Ford joins Volvo, General Motors and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi
Volvo, General Motors and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi have also teamed up with Google. More and more vehicles equipped with Android Automotive will be announced, which raises the question of how manufacturers will be able to differentiate the user experience between them. A strategy opposite to that of Tesla which is developing its own interface. Recently, the latest versions of the Model X and Model S even include a game console with the computing power of a PS5.