Big Tech Makes Its Next Move


Ford revealed that beginning in 2023, its trucks and cars will indeed come with Google Maps, Helper, and Play Store preloaded.

Then, CEO Jim Farley called the collaboration between his legendary U.S. automobile manufacturer and the search giant an opportunity to “reimagine” the vehicle.

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This means making it an office-on-wheels, with more interconnection than any phone or computer.

It’s a money game

“We were going to spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year to maintain pace with essentially a generic expertise not competitive to your cellphone,” Farley boasted on CNBC, when announcing the six-year agreement with the tech behemoth.

The partnership offered Ford some much-needed clout, while Google got a chance to show off its goods to millions of passengers and drivers. Many tech industry watchdog groups, on the other hand, had a different perspective on the potential Ford-Google automobile.

They are concerned that tech corporations will soon do to vehicles what they did to mobiles: tying their proprietary operating systems to specific items in order to drive out rivals and control a large portion of the global market.

The smartphone battles ended; Google and Apple have triumphed.

They’re now slugging it out with Amazon for ownership over how you use your car. All three see automobiles as the next big way to connect out to Americans, who spend more time behind the wheel than anyplace else, outside of their homes or jobs.

After years of attempting to integrate cutting-edge innovations into cars on their own, car manufacturers are increasingly seeking Silicon Valley’s assistance.

They’re hoping to adopt both its technology and its profitable business models, in which consumers pay month by month for continuing support, rather than purchasing a product once.

Cars are the next focus

After missing the boat on cellphones as the internet giants controlled the market, some regulatory agencies believe the battle over linked automobiles represents an opportunity to prevent possible monopolies from forming.

In their government anti-trust case, a state attorney general (who challenged Google in 2020 for monopolizing internet search) raised concerns about the company’s foray into driverless vehicles.

Meanwhile, the European Commission’s competition authority has launched an investigation into Google’s connected vehicle contracts.

“It’s incredibly difficult to undo anti-competitive behavior five or ten years down the road,” said Charlotte Slaiman, Public Knowledge’s competitiveness policy director.

“For many people, purchasing a car is a long-term investment. If a customer is bound into agreements with a business because they purchased an automobile they want to use for five to ten years, competitiveness will be more difficult.”

The implications are massive. Travelers will be able to effortlessly merge work, pleasure, and errands in the future, easily buying groceries, arranging work meetings, and watching television from the luxury of their cars, according to IT companies and manufacturers.

The data collected by these vehicles may also be used to regularly update maps, alert city workers to potholes, and provide information to brick-and-mortar stores about where their consumers come from.