By: William Sikkens
Host, User Friendly 2.0 Saturday’s at 5:00 p.m.

If you like Android then 2023 is the year for you.

Ford is the latest automaker to turn its vehicle operating systems over to Google. The Michigan based company said it will use Google’s Android to power the infotainment systems in “millions” of its cars starting in 2023. That means Google’s voice-activated Assistant, Google Maps, and other automotive-approved Android apps will be available in Ford’s cars without requiring the use of an Android smartphone.

The deep integration of Android will allow drivers and passengers to use Google Assistant to change things like climate settings, and it will also enable over-the-air updates that can add new features or address some maintenance issues according to Ford.   But iPhone people don’t despair: Ford’s system will still be compatible with Apple CarPlay.   And Ford will continue to offer Amazon’s Alexa as an option as well.

Ford wouldn’t say which of its vehicles will get the Android operating system starting in 2023, only that “millions” of vehicles under the Ford and Lincoln brands would have it. The vehicles will be available across the globe except in China.  Ford also wouldn’t say whether it will use Google’s Android Automotive product, which is embedded natively in the vehicle.  Instead, its use of Android would be “uniquely Ford and Lincoln,” according to Ford’s VP of strategy and partnerships, David McClelland,  in a conference call with reporters.

McClelland said,  “We’re going to leverage the talent and assets of both companies to push the boundaries of Ford’s transformation, unlock personalized consumer experiences, and drive disruptive, data-driven opportunities.” McClelland also said in a Medium post, “This may include projects ranging from modernizing our plants through vision AI, developing new retail experiences when buying a vehicle, creating new ownership offers based on connected vehicle data, and more.”

Disruptive technology is an innovation that significantly alters the way that consumers, industries, or businesses operate. A disruptive technology sweeps away the systems or habits it replaces because it has attributes that are recognizably superior.

The use of a voice assistant is becoming a norm in newer cars.  Buick features Alexa and GM is entering into a partnership with Microsoft.  Technologies also expect to hear from Siri with something “uniquely Apple” soon.

William (Bill) Sikkens has been an on-air technology expert since 2014. With an expertise in I.T., cyber security and software design he has had more than 20 years’ experience with advanced technology. Sikkens conceptualizes and designs custom applications for many professional industries from health care to banking and has the ability to explain the details in a way all can understand.  Article edited by Gretchen Winkler, who along with Jeremy Winkler are the co-hosts of User Friendly 2.0 here on The Answer Saturday’s at 5:00 p.m.

Links and brand/store information provided are for information only and are not endorsed by Salem Media Group, KPAM or the shows hosts.   Material for this article from Wikipedia.

Got a technology question or comment for Bill? Follow him on Twitter @sikkensw