Ford and Google said on Monday they would collaborate in a "first-of-its-kind partnership to create unique services and capabilities for Ford and Lincoln customers, and to accelerate the automaker's transformation plan".

Ford also named Google Cloud its preferred cloud provider "to leverage Google's world-class expertise in data, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning".

The new, six year partnership, beginning in 2023, will see millions of future Ford and Lincoln vehicles at all price points powered by Android with Google apps and services built in.

"To drive ongoing innovation, Ford and Google are establishing a new collaborative group, Team Upshift, that will push the boundaries of Ford's transformation, unlock personalised consumer experiences, and drive disruptive, data driven opportunities," the two firms said in a statement.

"This may include projects ranging from developing new retail experiences when buying a vehicle, creating new ownership offers based on data, and more."

As Ford continues the most profound transformation in our history with electrification, connectivity and self-driving, Google and Ford coming together establishes an innovation powerhouse truly able to deliver a superior experience for our customers and modernise our business," said president and CEO Jim Farley.

With Google Cloud, Ford plans to:

  • Further improve customer experiences for customers with differentiated technology and personalized services;
  • Accelerate modernization of product development, manufacturing and supply chain management, including exploration of using vision AI for manufacturing employee training and even more reliable plant equipment performance;
  • Fast track the implementation of data-driven business models resulting in customers receiving real-time notices such as maintenance requests or trade-in alerts.

"We are obsessed with creating must-have, distinctively Ford products and services," added Farley. "This integration will unleash our teams to innovate for [our] customers while seamlessly providing access to Google's world class apps and services."