From 2023, Ford infotainment systems to be powered by Android
Ford and Google have announced a strategic partnership, which should see greater strides towards reinventing the in-car connected experience, especially being one of the few instances where a manufacturer has gone to one of the big two software giants directly. With the six-year partnership beginning in 2023, Ford and Lincoln vehicles from then on will all run Android infotainment systems with Google apps and services, such as Maps, Assistant and more, built right into the car removing the need to connect a smartphone via wire, or wirelessly, to access Android Auto.
From our experience with current connected technology, and seeing the parallel development via manufacturers, and providers such as Apple and Google, the move is more than welcome as it welcomes the software partner into the fold from the early-development stage itself, and should accelerate growth, instead of hindering it. Ford's own SYNC infotainment system, developed in partnership with Microsoft, has recently been updated to SYNC4 but will be eschewed in favour of the new Google-developed system. For those wondering, connectivity via Apple CarPlay will continue to be offered.
Ford will use Google's cloud services to help with data analytics, and further customers' online experiences with the vehicle, extending to the likes of real-time trade-in offers. The two companies also announced a new collaborative group, Team Upshift, which will drive the charge towards disruptive personal and vehicular connected technology, and spearhead Ford's planned transformation in theses areas. The partnership will see Ford leverage the advancements that Google has made in artificial intelligence, and machine learning, bringing it straight to vehicles and cutting out the middle man, so to speak.