Ford is talking with Google about integrating the internet search giant's services and devices into its vehicles.

The automaker has attracted extensive publicity this week after blitzing the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas with numerous product announcements and the attendance of chief executive Alan Mulally and other top executives.

The automaker also said it has partnerships with map supplier Mapquest, internet radio provider Pandora, micro-blogging service Twitter and audio news service Stitcher.

Ford executives wouldn't detail to Dow Jones details of talks with Google, which recently unveiled its own branded smartphone, but hinted the discussions involved designing products accessed by Google's Android mobile operating system that would be compatible with Ford's on-board entertainment-and-communications platform, known as Sync.

A person familiar with discussions told the news agency Ford expected to provide new Google-based features "soon." The person added the new products would have a user interface reminiscent of Google's popular internet-based features.

"Many of you here inspired us to move at Silicon Valley speeds," Mulally said. "It is challenging. It is fun."

Ford's Sync allows car occupants to access applications on smartphones through the vehicle display screens and controls.

Automakers are eyeing new revenue sources from services such as navigation, streamed audio and video, phone calls, text messaging and internet and email access.

So-called 'open' technology allows third parties to develop 'apps' and automakers could take a cut, much as Apple does on sales of each app developed for its iPhone line.

Dow Jones said Ford was opening the Sync platform to outside companies and software developers.

Mulally highlighted an on-board wi-fi system that distributes internet access to as many as five passengers by channeling wireless access received by 3G cellular broadband products, like smartphones.

Executives also said they were building a web browser into new vehicles though the device would only be accessible when the car is parked.

Ironically, all this comes just as several more US states made texting while driving illegal from 1 January. Ford has insisted all its new developments are designed to minimise driver distraction.

MyFord Touch, an electronic dashboard that lets drivers control climate, entertainment and other standard vehicle functions via voice commands and graphic touch screens, is the latest update to its existing Sync system, based on Microsoft technology.

MyFord Touch will be available on the new Lincoln MKX later this year and Ford Edge next year. Ford plans to make it standard on 80% of its vehicles over the next five years, according to Reuters.

"Sync is selling Ford vehicles. This is a reason to buy Ford," Mulally said in an interview ahead of the Las Vegas show.

Thirty-two percent of recent Ford buyers cited Sync as one of the reasons for purchasing, he said in his presentation.

Ford hopes buttons mounted on the steering wheel, along with an easily readable screen in the driver's line of vision, will make manipulating car systems safer.

Mulally on the tweeting car