Ford, Google Team Up to Make Smarter Cars image

Ford is joining Google to develop cars smart enough to know where you’re going, and how best to get you there so you don’t waste time in traffic.

Ford is experimenting with using the Google Prediction API to apply predictive analytics to maximizing the efficiency of a vehicle–particularly a hybrid or electric vehicle designed to wring the most performance out of the least investment of gas or electric power.

Ford already offers some cloud-based entertainment and information services through its Ford SYNC in-vehicle system. But this technology will be exclusively focused on the driver, logging and analyzing his driving history to anticipate his needs.

If the owner started the car on a weekday morning, the car could use its recent driving history to predict that this will be a trip to the office. An automated voice would ask the driver to confirm this, and if the driver said, “Yes,” the car could prepare to handle the route to the office intelligently.
The collaboration is in the preliminary stages of R&D, so it will still be a few years before we see cars with this sort of technology on the market, but Ford maintains it is committed to the project. The company has been working on predictive driver behavior for two years and says a production-ready system could be here in four to eight years.