At the end of 2015, Ford CEO Mark Fields was very close to the victory, when he almost let Ford into the Google automatic driving fast lane. If you can cooperate with Google, Ford is definitely a big positive, after all, at the time of the traditional car manufacturers, no one company to take out a fully automated car development plan.
2015, Ford has been out of the 2008 crisis: sales stability, profits are considerable. However, Ford's share price has long been sluggish, because investors simply do not see this old car manufacturers have any flash point. If you can work together with Google, which Ford's share price will have a huge role in promoting.
A few days ago, Fields sadly left Ford. Now think about it, then that messed up that cooperation is probably Fields career in the turning point of Ford. The old car company missed the best time to compete for automatic driving industry, Fields naturally lost the support of shareholders.
According to sources, when Ford and Google's cooperation did not shape because Fields too much Wall Street's response, and Google want to act low-key, first through technical cooperation to learn the foundation of each other, and then explore the next strategy.
For this argument, a Ford spokesman declined to comment.
Google is a typical Silicon Valley company, but also advocate "also friends and friends" and the state, even if the opponent, but also learn from each other. However, this idea can not get Ford's understanding.
In a few weeks after the collapse of Google, Bill Ford, CEO of Ford, recruited Jim Hackett, a member of Ford's board of directors and a good relationship with Silicon Valley.
The final outcome is that when the Ford intelligent travel department director only more than a year of Hackett, to replace Fields became the company's new CEO.
In the autopilot industry, Google is a well-deserved pioneer, but this good software search giant has been unable to find a viable vehicle platform. So it wants to work with a car manufacturer with a hybrid car, and Google is interested in how to integrate autopilot technology into existing production models.
Sources said that when the eyes of the ideal partner is Ford, because the latter good reputation, the volume is also huge enough. And all along, Google's autopilot test mainly rely on Lexus RX 450h hybrid cars and their own "koala car" (maximum speed of only 40 km / h) to complete.
Of course, this is no result of cooperation in the end who initiated the initiative, how the negotiations began, and now we are not clear. But the news shows that in 2015 when Google autopilot CTO's Chris Urmson began to talk with the Ford executives cooperation matters.
It is worth noting that the cooperation between the two giants is non-exclusive, which means that Google can also cooperate with other car manufacturers. However, Ford hopes that Google can give a commitment, it needs is a large-scale cooperation, rather than minor. After all, only long-term strategic partnership to allow Wall Street to believe that the deal is good for both companies.
After the negotiations to the fall of the year, the two companies into the honeymoon period, this cooperation only signed this step.
The end of 2015
In September of the same year, Google got John Krafcik (former CEO of Hyundai Motor North America, and former Ford engineer) who had been fought for many years in the automotive industry. He became the new head of the Google Autopilot project.
At the end of last year, Google will be unmanned car project spin-off, set up a new company Waymo. Krafcik homeopathy to become the new company CEO, this series of actions announced that Google should be driving as a business trip.
In October 2015, Google successfully completed the first non-assisted autopilot test on the Austin road (the koala no steering wheel and brakes), this test is Google's new milestone, and now still no company can achieve this level.
However, low-key Google until a year later (2016) before the announcement of the news, along with the announcement of the news of the establishment of Waymo.
In early December 2015, Fields went to Silicon Valley with Google founder Sergei & middot; Brin talks. Fileds is also full of momentum, his team is luxurious SUV Lincoln NAVIGATOR (navigator). This model in the Silicon Valley is an absolute heterogeneous, because here the technology elite are more like Tesla and Nissan hear the wind and other electric models.
Informed sources said that Fields was full of confidence, he and his team even the news release at the press are written. For Ford, the focus of the negotiations is how to please Wall Street.
The two companies in the cultural conflict to Brin very uncomfortable, so Google began to reconsider the cooperation.
December 21, Ford and Google negotiations began to see the news, many media add oil and vinegar called "This is a big business" and "big business". By the good news to stimulate, Ford's stock rose 2%, but Google's share price is slightly down.
At the beginning of 2016
Lei Feng net note that the news report about Ford's Google cooperation has a mistake: the media said the two companies to announce the news at CES, but in fact it did not happen, which makes Ford very embarrassing.
At CES, Ford only said it would significantly increase the number of autopilot fleet test cars, and Amazon will be the introduction of Alexa and so on. However, this small news can not ignite the enthusiasm of investors.
At the end of the same year, the Google team bid farewell to the Ford team. Ford internal news shows that Fields was ready to speak on the board, but Google suddenly stopped cooperation, which makes Fields very angry. The Google side of the news, Brin did not and Ford's cooperation as a major event, he felt Fileds's anger is purely disturbing.
In February, Bill Ford led the Ford board of directors to travel to Silicon Valley, which included the current Ford CEO Hackett & mdash; he was the Silicon Valley cultural background grew up in the new Ford.
"Members of the board to see Hackett are very pleasantly surprised, they have come forward and Hackett shook hands to embrace. "Bill Ford said. "He is the true thinker in our mind, and he is fortunate for Ford." & Rdquo;
On May 11th, Hackett withdrew from Ford's board of directors and became the director of the Ford Smart Mobility Program, which focused on new technology, expanding its employees from 12 to 600 in a year.
In May of the same year, Waymo and Fiat - Chrysler to reach a partnership, the two companies will cooperate to produce 100 Pacifica hybrid test cars, and now Google will order to 500.
Did not cooperate with Google Ford did not discourage. Last year, Ford invested in laser radar company Velodyne and 3D map company Civil Maps. At the same time, it also acquired San Francisco taxi company Chariot with Israeli machine learning developer SAIPS. In February this year, Ford is generous for the artificial intelligence business Argo AI invested $ 1 billion.
However, Hackett in the end in these investments in what role we still do not know.
Not long ago, Bill Ford said he hoped that Hackett would allow Ford to speed up the pace of operation. "The speed of running the world requires us to make decisions faster. "Said Ford. I do not think Ford has missed the opportunity, but if we want to win in this new world, we must speed up. & Rdquo;