Ford Signs Six-Year Digital Transformation Deal With Google

Google will provide Ford's internal operations with cloud computing services as well as equip vehicles with Android tech.

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Need to Know

  • Ford and Google have signed a six-year deal which will bring Google technology to Ford vehicles, as well as in-office.
  • Google will provide cloud computing services, including AI, to help improve Ford’s internal operations and Ford and Lincoln vehicles will come equipped with Android Automotive services.
  • Ford has invested $11 billion recently to improve internal operations and compete with other carmakers.

Analysis

Google and Ford have teamed up for two exciting new partnerships. The companies announced a six-year deal yesterday, in which Google will provide cloud computing services for the carmaker, as well as bring its Android Automotive tool to Ford’s vehicles.  

The deal comes as part of Ford’s $11 billion restructuring plan to streamline internal operations (including using artificial intelligence to improve supply chain logistics and manufacturing) and provides Google with a big-name customer to compete against rivals Amazon and Microsoft. 

And starting in 2023, Ford and Lincoln vehicles will come equipped with Android technology, including Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play.  

“With Google Cloud, Ford will digitally transform from the front office to the car to the manufacturing plant floor,” said Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian in a press conference. “And there are a number of different applications, including modernizing product development, improving manufacturing and supply chain management, using computer vision AI for employee training, inspection of equipment on the assembly line and other applications.”

“At Ford, we’ve got world-class in-house data insights and analytics teams,” said David McClelland, Ford’s VP for strategy and partnerships. “We’ve recruited significant software expertise and we’re making great progress in this area. And we’re moving rapidly towards commercializing our new self-driving business.” 

The new deal was potentially made in response to or in competition with Apple’s recent partnership with Hyundai. The two companies are rumored to have penned a deal to potentially release an electric car in the United States sometime in the next few years. 

Apple has been evaluating a number of strategic partnerships with automakers to eventually launch its long-awaited Apple Car.

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