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Powered by Android: Ford Motor Company's Future Cars Will Have Google On Board

By John Rosevear - Feb 1, 2021 at 12:18PM

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A new six-year partnership will bring Google services -- and new apps -- to millions of Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

Ford Motor Company (F 2.33%) announced Monday that it has entered a six-year deal with Google, which will make the search giant responsible for much of Ford's upcoming in-vehicle connectivity.  

Under the deal, future Ford and Lincoln vehicles — beginning in 2023 — will be "powered" by Google's Android operating system, providing customers with built-in access to Google services such as Maps, Play, and Assistant. 

In addition, the in-car systems will be able to run apps from both Ford and third-party developers, the companies said. 

Ford and Google are establishing a new collaborative group, called "Team Upshift," to "push the boundaries of Ford's transformation" by exploring and developing new products and services that make use of the data that will be gathered, the company said in a statement.

A Ford Edge's dashboard, showing Ford's SYNC 4A system on a large touchscreen.

The next generation of Ford's SYNC in-car system will be powered by Google's Android operating system, the companies said. Image source: Ford Motor Company.

Ford said that the partnership is intended to streamline its operations and accelerate its ongoing $11 billion restructuring plan. CEO Jim Farley said that Ford will be able to redirect spending from developing its own navigation and in-car entertainment systems in-house, which he said gave Ford's customers a "generic" experience. 

For Google and its parent Alphabet (GOOG -0.08%) (GOOGL -0.16%), the deal gives Google Cloud a prominent new customer that could help it win additional business. Google Cloud's market share has lagged similar offerings from rival tech giants Amazon (AMZN 2.57%) and Microsoft (MSFT 1.12%). 

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Microsoft signed a similar deal with General Motors (GM 2.19%) and its Cruise self-driving subsidiary in January. 

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