Ford and Google sign a six-year deal that will make Google responsible for much of the automaker’s growing in-vehicle connectivity. Google will also provide cloud computing and other technology services to Ford.
The partnership announced Monday is designed to facilitate Ford’s operations and expedite an ongoing $11 billion restructuring plan. It marks a major shift for the automaker, which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars annually in recent years to develop and maintain such systems.
It will also give Google a new marquee customer for its cloud computing technology, which lags behind rivals Amazon and Microsoft in market share, and shows how Google is willing to use assets such as its mobile dominance to help build its cloud business. The deal is not exclusive, allowing the companies to use other clouds or existing Ford data centres.
Shares of Ford jumped as much as 8.6% during intraday trading late-Monday morning. Shares of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, were up about 3%.
Under the deal, Ford and Lincoln vehicles will sport Android, the Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Play starting in 2023, and Google’s cloud will enable other types of services. For instance, Google said Ford is looking to use the tech giant’s cloud to enable a system for sending customers messages about maintenance or trade-in opportunities.
Google will also help Ford use artificial intelligence in areas such as supply chain logistics and manufacturing, the companies said.