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(Pocket-lint) - Ford and Google have announced a partnership that's going to see Ford and Lincoln cars powered by Google, running on Android Automotive and offering Google apps and services built in.

The agreement - which runs for 6 years - will see cars from 2023 onwards sitting on the Android platform, looking to boost connectivity and provide a wide range of integrated services.

That will see Google Assistant taking care of the voice controls, Google Maps as the basis for navigation and Google Play able to provide relevant apps like Spotify.

"We are obsessed with creating must-have, distinctively Ford products and services," said Jim Farley, president and CEO of Ford. "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."

Exactly how different the Ford system will be to the one we've seen in the Polestar 2 remains to be seen and it also raises questions about which direction Ford now takes its own Sync software - the fourth version of which makes its debut in the Ford Mustang Mach-E (pictured). 

The advantage of going with Google is clear: there's no need to develop an alternative platform, fewer concerns about app compatibility and it avoids the common criticism about slow updates or missing features.

Google Maps is also widely regarded, with the advantage of offering better live searching for things like businesses, which often surpasses the integration you'll find on other car platforms.

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Sitting behind this deal there's a lot more going on. This isn't just about Ford's cars, it's about a deeper partnership that will see Google and Ford collaborating in a range of other areas. Ford will use Google Cloud and gain the advantage of Google's AI and machine learning, and the two companies are forming a new working group to chase other data-driven opportunities.

Ultimately, it means that Ford has a huge partner for connected services moving forward.

"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," said Farley.

Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 2 February 2021.