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Ford uses Google's prediction tech to make cars smarter, more efficient

Ford and Google joined forces to produce smart cars that can predict driver's behaviour to maximise fuel efficiency.


Ford and Google have joined forces to produce smart cars that can predict a driver's behaviour and maximise fuel efficiency.

The US automaker hopes the car of the future will be able to enhance its own performance by tapping into the power of Google's Prediction Technology, researchers showed at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco this week.

In a nutshell, the predictive API (application programming interface) uses pattern-matching and machine learning to predict probable outcomes for various events. It can convert data into real-time predictions, including destinations and time of departure.

Using this API, Ford's cloud-based system will keep track of your personal driving data and give you the best routes to get to locations you frequently visit, making journeys easier and greener. "This information can ultimately be used to optimise vehicle fuel efficiency and drivability," said Ford researcher Ryan McGee in the company's press release.

At present, the new Google cloud technology is designed to work with plug-in hybrid vehicles, since the electric mode of such vehicles provides more opportunities to save power than a petrol-only model.

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

"The work could lead to a production-ready system in four to eight years," McGee told the New York Times, so it's all still in the preliminary stages of R&D, but it does look pretty exciting. Hit play to find out more about this exciting collaboration and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.