Ford willing to work with Apple and Google, but won’t give up control

Ford says it is working with Apple and Google for closer integration of its respective CarPlay and Android Auto platforms, but the auto giant remains wary of putting too much power into the hands of smartphone giants.

CEO Mark Fields told Recode the company doesn’t “want to end up in the handset business,” where choice of vehicle becomes dependent on the ability to support a smartphone ecosystem on the dashboard.

Ford has taken a more proactive approach to smartphone incorporation than most auto manufacturers in recent years.

The company has it’s own infotainment system, Ford Sync, which allows Android and iOS owners to accept calls and use certain smartphone apps, hands-free.

The company’s CTO Raj Nair says it’ll be willing to incorporate more iOS and Android features within Sync if there’s a desire from consumers.

For example, Nair reiterated January’s news that customers will be able to use Google Maps but listen to Sirius radio through Sync. Currently CarPlay and Android Auto can only be used as secondary tools and not as the primary means of navigation.

We want to make sure you are not pushed into a decision on a $40,000 car based on your $200 smartphone,” Nair said.

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Ford also said it is hoping to add cellular capabilities to a larger section of its fleet of vehicles.

“You will see that propagate, so we can have all of our vehicles have that capability,” Fields added.

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