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Google’s master plan is in motion…

Google’s master plan is in motion…
August 21, 2023

Google announced a six-year partnership with Ford. Per the deal, Google will integrate its Android operating system into millions of vehicles under the Ford and Lincoln brands starting in 2023.These are “infotainment” systems that will replace Ford’s existing dashboard systems. And they will include the voice-activated Google Assistant platform, Google Maps, Google Pay, and other useful applications right on the dash.Drivers won’t have to fiddle with a smartphone to access Google’s relevant software applications and voice assistant.

Google’s tech will be in many Ford and Lincoln cars starting with the 2023 models. That’s less than two years away. And this timeline tells us that Google has been working with Ford behind the scenes for a while now.  In the auto industry, two years is a very short time. Carmakers typically lock in their design models three or four years in advance.And that means the designs for 2023 Fords and Lincolns were likely finalized last year. 

Google and Ford must have already ironed out all the details well before this announcement came out. And it’s all part of Google’s master plan…  The average American spent nearly one hour per day driving in their car prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. From Google’s perspective, that’s an hour every day that it cannot use to gather behavioral data and serve ads to drivers.And that’s why Google wants to get its Android operating system in the car. 

It will provide Google with information such as the owner’s driving patterns, most frequented shops and restaurants, and music preferences. And it will even have the ability to hear and “understand” the conversations that we have in the car. This additional information will help Google build a more robust profile on consumers. And it can then sell this information to advertisers to make even more money. It is all leading up to Google’s self-driving initiatives. Google’s overall strategy with its self-driving division Waymo is to license its autonomous driving technology to carmakers rather than become a carmaker itself. 

This is the same product strategy that Google used for its Android operating system for phones. It develops its Google Pixel phones for the primary purpose of providing a reference model to the industry. And this then proliferates the most advanced features of Android OS around the world.  It is a strategy that has worked extremely well. Google’s Android OS has about 87% global market share in the smartphone industry.I always get a chuckle when I hear someone claim that Apple is a monopoly. They have it backwards. Google is the one with the monopoly. Its software literally controls most of the world’s smartphones. 

That’s actually a great concern to me. The company’s entire business model is built on collecting behavioral data about everything we do and say, which it then sells to advertisers. And one of my biggest predictions for 2021 is that we’ll see Waymo announce its first licensing deal with a major carmaker. It’s the next logical step to take control over the entire car, not just the infotainment system.  Once self-driving cars become prevalent, Google will be able to serve ads to people on their daily commute. And they’ll be able to do so directly through the Android system on the dashboard and on screens built into the seats to serve the other passengers. This is a ploy to capture even more of our attention.  

That’s what’s really happening here. Google sees our daily commute as a major market for digital advertising and a way to generate more advertising revenues from consumer behavior. And Google isn’t the only company that recognizes this untapped market. That’s why we are seeing companies like Apple and Microsoft make moves to break into the auto industry. It’s a land grab of sorts.  So this will be one of the biggest stories of the year. Next, we can expect to hear big news from both Waymo and Apple in the coming months.

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