Ford hitches its cloud wagon to Google for connected vehicles, better supply chains

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Google and Ford announce a six-year deal that includes Ford naming Google as its preferred cloud provider. (Pixabay)

Google and Ford announced a six-year partnership that included naming Google as Ford's preferred cloud provider. In addition to cloud computing, Ford will also tap into Google's artificial intelligence, software and applications such as Google Assistant and Google Maps.

Starting in 2023, Ford will incorporate Google's Android operating system into its Ford and Lincoln vehicles. Having the Android operating system in Ford's vehicles also opens up the doors for third-party developers to build additional apps for the further personalization of owners' preferences.

Ford and Google are also teaming up on a new entity, called Team Upshift, to use analytics and data to collaborate on projects such as developing new retail experiences when buying a vehicle and creating new ownership offers.

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Google will also help Ford modernize its product development, manufacturing and supply chain management, including the exploration of using AI for manufacturing employee training and better plant equipment performance.

"We're proud to partner to apply the best of Google's AI, data analytics, compute and cloud platforms to help transform Ford's business and build automotive technologies that keep people safe and connected on the road," said Google CEO Sundar Pichai, in a statement.

Google's parent company, Alphabet, reports its fourth quarter results on Tuesday after the markets close.