Going Android: Ford and Google Enter Six-year Data Partnership
On Monday, Ford and Google jointly announced a strategic, six-year partnership to accelerate the automaker’s connected vehicle and data service programs. Framed as part of Ford’s natural evolution into an information focused mobility firm, the release was loaded with corporate buzz phrases that we had to clean up. But the gist is that Ford would like to leverage Google Cloud for its products, meaning all future Ford models will be running Android operating systems starting in 2023.
This clears a pathway for improved integration from Google Assistant, Maps, Play, or any third-party applications catering to the incredibly popular OS. Unfortunately, it also highlights how gaga automakers are getting about data for the umpteenth time.
BMW Taps Amazon Cloud Computing for Data Lair [Updated]
On Tuesday, BMW announced it would be partnering with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to develop a cloud-based IT solution allowing it to integrate data and analytics into literally every aspect of the business “from vehicle development to after-sales services.” The automaker said data will now be shifted around liberally between business units and operations in over a hundred countries to help create a more fluid and responsive way of doing business. BMW to hire and train up to 5,000 software engineers in the latest Amazon tech to “empower” its workforce to manage the data.
Though some of that will be handled independently by artificial intelligence. Along with the physical construction of the necessary data hub, the company plans on certifying roughly 2,000 in machine learning and data analysis. If that sounds a bit technical and vague, just imagine BMW building Skynet from the Terminator films and actually getting some decent work out of it before it decided to exterminate humanity.
Ford to Launch Data Monitoring/Analytics Program on Commercial Fleets
We’ve prattled on before about how General Motors sees data mining as its next big business opportunity. While much of our take focused on the risk that customers might lose their privacy and become both commodity and consumer, it would be stupid to suggest it isn’t also a highly lucrative business strategy.
Social media outlets sell your personal information on a daily basis and other industries see potential in that. GM isn’t the only automaker jumping on the bandwagon, it’s simply the one with the most transparent blueprint.
Ford recently opened up about its own data strategy. The company previously announced large investments into data centers, stating its intent to equip 90 percent of its global fleet with modem connectivity by 2020. Ford Smart Mobility was also reorganized earlier this year, an effort that included the acquisition of two tech firms focused on transit data. The automaker split the group to focus on key areas: transportation data, marketing, tech development, and the management of previously established programs like FordPass and Chariot.
Ford obviously had a plan in the works for a while, but we didn’t know exactly what Ford’s execution would look like until now.
A Peek Under the Hood
Google Analytics provides an interesting look as to how visitors reach a website. I’d like to give our B&B some examples of how others (those who do not subscribe to the RSS feed or those who’ve not bookmarked TTAC) come our way and you’ll find the reason near the end of this post.
Below is a selection of the most interesting “entrance keywords” in the hope of giving you an insight in to the psyche of the non-B&B. Consider this: TTAC receives orders of magnitude more visitors than we have registered users. And, of registered users, a relatively small percentage are active participants (guest writers and active commenters), a.k.a. the Best & Brightest.