News Highlights: Ford cars will run on Android from 2023
- Ford and Lincoln cars will run on Android from 2023.
- The addition brings Google Assistant, Maps and Play Store apps to drivers.
- They also form a Team Upshift group to drive innovation.
Android Automotive is about to become decidedly ubiquitous. Ford has formed a partnership with Google that, among other things, will run its cars (including Lincoln models) on Android from 2023.
Ford’s Android integration gives “millions” of cars worldwide comprehensive access to Google functions, including Assistant, Maps and Play Store apps. The platform should also deliver over-the-air updates – a sore point for conventional auto makers who often ask you to upgrade by plugging in USB drives or even visiting dealers.
The companies have not said which cars would get Android first, although it is reasonable to expect Ford to prioritize electric cars and other high-end vehicles.
Related: This is the new Android Auto
Ford and Google will also collaborate outside of Android. They are a collaborative group, Team Upshift, which will “push the boundaries” at Ford. Data and technology can be used to, for example, shape your car shopping experience. Google will also serve as the “preferred” cloud provider for AI and other tasks.
The car giant is relatively late with Android-based infotainment systems. Volvo’s Polestar brand made a big point of using the technology in its Polestar 2 EV, but Google also has Android deals with GM, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and Peugeot owner Groupe PSA (now partnered with Fiat Chrysler under Stellantis).
Ford’s deal is nonetheless huge, and promises to bring Android to many more drivers. It could also be critical to Ford’s future. Modern vehicles depend on powerful software, and that dependence will only grow as the industry moves to EVs, connected car technology and self-driving functions. Android is pulling some of this difficult work over to Google and could help Ford compete with Tesla and other rivals that are ahead of in-car interfaces.