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Ford to use Google's 'Prediction' to make smarter cars

Announcing a deal at the Google I/O event, Ford said they are working on smart-car technology, using Google’s ‘Prediction’ API, which uses cloud computing, to custom-tailor a vehicle to guess where driver is heading and change settings accordingly.

Google is all set to create smart cars. In partnership with Ford, the Californian search and tech giant is venturing into auto market by creating cars that they claim will be smart enough to know where you’re going, and will choose the shortest, quickest and traffic-free route to get you there.

The companies promise that their smart-car technology, using Google's new Prediction API, could save plenty of money and make cities greener.

Google Ford team up to make smart cars
Car maker Ford announced recently that it is joining hands with the search engine mammoth Google to analyze and optimize the performance of its engines and motor vehicles.

Announcing a deal at the Google I/O event, Ford said they are working on smart-car technology, using Google’s ‘Prediction’ API, which uses cloud computing, to custom-tailor a vehicle to guess where driver is heading and change settings accordingly.

"Ford already offers cloud-based services through [Microsoft-powered] Ford Sync, but those services thus far have been used for infotainment, navigation and real-time traffic purposes to empower the driver," stated Johannes Kristinsson, system architect, Vehicle Controls Architecture and Algorithm Design at Ford Research and Innovation.

"This technology has the potential to empower our vehicles to anticipate the driver's needs," he added.

The companies promise their smart-car technology, using Google's new Prediction API, could save plenty of money and make cities greener.

Technology could alter performance
The Google Prediction API, which provides greater computation power, information storage and external data through cloud computing, combined with Ford's own predictive driver behavior data and analysis, could alter the performance of a plug-in hybrid, according to the companies.

"The Google Prediction API allows us to utilize information that an individual driver creates over time and make that information actionable," Ryan McGee, technical expert, Vehicle Controls Architecture and Algorithm Design at Ford Research and Innovation, said in the same press release. "Between Google Prediction and our own research, we are discovering ways to make information work for the driver and help deliver optimal vehicle performance."

API could turn journey info into real-time predictions
The car company said Google’s API will convert journey data, such as where and when people drive, into useful real-time predictions, which would enable the cars to change their performance according to the data and the current time and location.

Based on the available data, the cars will determine what steps to implement to achieve optimal driving performance, for example, by selecting an electric-only route to reduce gas consumption and offering real-time information including traffic, weather, and time of day.

Ryan McGee, who works in Ford’s vehicle controls architecture and algorithm design division, stated, “Once the destination is confirmed, the vehicle would have instant access to a variety of real-time information so it can optimize its performance, even against factors that the driver may not be aware of.

“This information can ultimately be used to optimize vehicle performance attributes such as fuel efficiency and drivability.

“Ultimately, we’re looking to make cars smarter. We’re looking to make them more efficient.”

The firms say the plans are all still highly theoretical, but they are committed to the project. The companies said they will show off a concept of how this could work later at the I/O event.