Ford & Google collaborate to accelerate auto innovation
Forming a unique strategic partnership, multinational technology company - Google - has partnered with Ford to accelerate the automotive manufacturer’s transformation, reinvent the connected vehicle experience, and has named Google as its preferred cloud provider.
“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 modernize our business,” commented Jim Farley, President and CEO of Ford.
A six year partnership
As part of Ford and Google’s six year partnership, Ford will leverage Google’s expertise in data, data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML). In doing so, Ford will accelerate its digital transformation, modernise its operations, and power its connected vehicles with Google’s “trusted, secure and reliable cloud.”
Sharing a vision to bring enjoyable, safer and more efficient connected vehicle experiences to minimise driver distractions and provide real-time information updates, the two organisations starting in 2023 will begin powering millions of future Ford and Lincoln vehicles with Android.
“We are obsessed with creating must-have, distinctively Ford products and services. This integration will unleash our teams to innovate for Ford and Lincoln customers while seamlessly providing access to Google’s world-class apps and services,” added Farley.
Did you know? In , Ford announced a landmark road safety data sharing agreement to provide drivers of connected vehicles, across multiple brands, with advance warning capabilities for potential dangerous driving conditions on the roads.
Ford and Google: driving innovation
Driving their commitment to ongoing innovation, Ford and Google will also establish a new collaborative group to be known as ‘Team Upshift’.
By leveraging the talent and assets of both companies, it is said that Team Upshift will “push the boundaries of Ford’s transformation, unlock personalised consumer experiences, and drive disruptive, data-driven opportunities.”
Projects carried out by Team Upshift will include the likes of developing retail experiences and creating new ownership offers based on data.
“From the first moving assembly line to the latest driver-assist technology, Ford has set the pace of innovation for the automotive industry for nearly 120 years. We’re proud to partner to apply the best of Google’s AI, data analytics, compute and cloud platforms to help transform Ford's business and build automotive technologies that keep people safe and connected on the road,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.