Ford is looking to accelerate connected vehicles by partnering with Pivotal to use the firm’s software development services to enhance smart car technology.
The automaker wants to tap into the software space, with the three-year strategic collaboration supporting the development of mobile services and user experiences.
Ford plans to build a component of its new connected vehicle platform on top of the Cloud Foundry platform and use the Big Data Suite to analyse data in real-time and over longer periods, to develop software-powered applications.
The first product from the joint venture is SYNC Connect, with the technology providing remote access to vehicle features via a smartphone app.
Initial features of SYNC Connect include the ability to lock and unlock doors, schedule a future engine ignition to warm up or cool down the vehicle, check fuel and oil levels, and locate where the vehicle is parked. Over time, these features will grow with software enhancements.
Ford announced that the first SYNC Connect applications will debut globally in the spring in the new Ford Escape, with other vehicles to follow.
Marcy Klevorn, Ford’s CIO said: "Customers today are used to frequent software updates on their mobile devices, and expect them with all technology. This collaboration with Pivotal allows for quicker vehicle software updates and an even better user experience for Ford customers."
Bill Cook, Pivotal COO said: "At the outset of working with Pivotal, Ford engineers started producing compelling software in a matter of weeks. Ford now is operating at start-up speeds – able to create software in mere days."